Michigan ready to experience Nebraska's famed 'Sea of Red'
ANN ARBOR -- Michigan senior defensive lineman Will Campbell doesn't know much about the state of Nebraska, but he's heard great things.
As the Wolverines prepare to make their first trip to Lincoln, Neb. in 101 years Saturday (8 p.m., ESPN2), they insist a great knowledge of the state and its culture isn't required.
It'll be college football in Nebraska -- what else is there to know?
"They don't have anything down there but their college football," Campbell said. "It's going to be exciting."
The last time Michigan made a trip to Nebraska, Fielding H. Yost was roaming the sidelines. The Wolverines have played the Cornhuskers in a true road environment just once in their 133 years of football -- a 6-6 tie in 1911.
But just because most of the team's roster has never been to Lincoln or seen Nebraska's Memorial Stadium, they say they're plenty aware of the Cornhuskers' famed "Sea of Red."
And just like Michigan Stadium was a mad house at night last season against Notre Dame, Michigan expects Lincoln to be a full-on hornet's nest come Saturday.
"I can't wait," Michigan junior defensive back Thomas Gordon said. "I've never been to Nebraska before, but you hear a lot of stories about the 'Sea of Red' at Nebraska and things like that. You look forward to environments like that.
"I've seen how crazy the crowd gets (on television), I'm looking forward to seeing it first hand."
Nebraska's home crowds can be intimidating, to be sure. And the nighttime environment will naturally make it that much worse.
But just because Michigan hasn't been to Lincoln in a century doesn't mean this will be the Wolverines' first rodeo in a prime time slugfest.
Michigan opened the season at night in Cowboys Stadium against the defending national champions and played at night three weeks later against unbeaten Notre Dame.
Hostility, craziness, late-night kickoffs -- it's all become old hat for Michigan.
"I think they're used to playing at night, I don't perceive that being a problem," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. "The blueprint for what we'll do with walkthroughs, meetings, (when we'll) eat, that kind of stuff, that'll be what they're used to.
"Crowd-wise, it should be what they're used to (also)."
Most of Michigan's roster has never been to Memorial Stadium, but Hoke has.
His Ball State Cardinals dropped a heartbreaker at Nebraska in 2007, 41-40.
What does Hoke remember most about his experience in the "Sea of Red?"
"We got beat," he said. "We dropped the ball at the 5-yard line (with a chance to win)."