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Posted on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

4 of Big Ten's top 7 rushers will be in Michigan Stadium on Saturday. Who wins?

By Staff


Michigan photos: file photos | Nebraska photos: AP file photos

When the Michigan football team hosts Nebraska on Saturday, four of the top seven Big Ten Conference rushing leaders will be on the field.

Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead is the No. 3 rusher in the conference, averaging 107.2 yards per game. The Cornhuskers’ quarterback, Taylor Martinez, is No. 7 with a 76.8-yard average.

Michigan tailback Fitz Toussaint (No. 6, 83.7) has taken some of the Wolverines’ running load from Denard Robinson (No. 5, 91.0), but the junior quarterback is certainly still capable of huge game.

Defensively, Michigan allows 130.9 rushing yards per game while Nebraska allows 161.3.

With all that said, we ask you:



Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:49 p.m.

Before the season, I thought this game was going to be a mismatch with Nebraska winning. But since our defense is so much better than I thought they'd be, now this is a very good matchup - and one we can definitely win. I think Mattison will have a great strategy to contain NE's offense. The key will be our effective our offense is. We can't have the same failure rate in the red zone that we had last week. Overall, I think this will be a fairly low scoring game: Michigan 21 Nebraska 17.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 5:20 a.m.

Im also really excited for this one... Two teams with a good RB/QB rushing combo squaring off. Not to mention neither team is passing the ball well. Should be fun, and hopefully UM can get that big win its been looking for this season, and ride some of that momentum into THE GAME.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:20 a.m.

First team to stop the other from running wins. Neither team is likely to pass you to death, so its gonna come down to stopping the Huskers from running wild with that option. Hopefully the outside containment improves this week, since is been a weakness for this defense. I think Mattison will be on top of that though. GO BLUE


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 5:14 a.m.

Really? well then lets see how often Denard's back is facing the line of scrimmage this week. I bet its a very small number. He is in shotgun most the time, and the only time i can think of him turning his back would be on a play action. If thats the best response you can muster you might as well not even try.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 11:22 p.m.

Didn't have to quote RR, because anyone with a brain will reach this conclusion on his own.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 3:36 a.m.

You know how to nuetralize Robinson ? Have him run away from the line of scrimmage with his back toward the defense and force him to try to throw into good coverage. Give the defense plenty of time to react on whether the play is a pass or not. To make the best player on the field every Saturday do that....You have have to be stupid. Borges is a fraud.


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 11:38 a.m.

Ted, I believe you are the one that is stupid. Borges is doing a very good job of transitioning this offense and still taking advantage of Denard's ability as a runner. Why did Fitz gain 192 yards against the #1 rush defense in the B1G last week? Because coach Borges used Denard as a decoy. Second play of the game, Fitz's 65 yard run, three Illini defenders went towards Denard. Man, what a moron our offensive coordinator must be. I believe that Denard really is getting better as a passer. He was 6 out of 10 last week before he got hurt. Made a really bad choice on the throw on which he injured his wrist (should have been picked off). Threw his only interception on a Hail Mary to end the first half. Otherwise, 6 of 8, most good throws, tight spirals, led the receivers (except when he badly underthrew Koger) because he was fundamentally sound in those 8 throws. I happen to believe coaches who have been around the game all their lives when they say they see improvement in Denard's mechanics and improvement as a passer. He is getting better. Two home games and a bowl game to continue to work and get better. Spring ball, summer camp, Denard may have an incredible senior year. Oh, and in case you haven't noticed, Denard has a chance to QB this team to 9, 10 or even 11 wins THIS year! The games will be close, hard-fought, COMPETITIVE and he will need to cut down his turnovers. Need to take them one at a time, but all are winnable. It's been several years since Michigan fans have been able to actually look forward to being competitive in November. Go Blue!


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 11:53 a.m.

Complaining on an 8 and 2 record? Oh yes, we STILL haven't won any meaningful games is the agruement. Some fans will never be happy, unless, Michigan goes undefeated. If you and other hold this year's team to the 1997-98 season, you will forever be dissappointed.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:15 a.m.

First off, your just regurgitating something RR said a while ago... Maybe you could at least quote him instead of stealing his argument for your own.. Borges is trying to transition into his offense, while keeping the production up. This is pretty hard to do, just ask RR. If anything, the offense itself has become less predicable just for the fact that UM's RBs have contributed this year. Good teams always stopped RR's offense. Al's style of offense can beat anyone when done correctly, thats why you its used in the PROS. The part of the offense that is down from last year is Denard. Big Deal. The Ws are still coming, and the L's are at least close. Something us UM fans havent seen much of the last 3 years. Go Hoke, go Borges, go Mattison, and Go BLUE.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:55 a.m.

Burkhead is averaging 4.0 yds per carry over the last two games. I think Michigan can contain him, for the most part, but he is getting over 20 attempts per game. He will get some yards. Just not up the gut. I am less sure how Nebraska's run defense will be against Fitz and our front line. If he has 100+ I think we win (barring 2+ turnovers from Denard). Denard seems to be pretty broken lately. The coaches claim he is getting better every game, despite the turnovers. And if someone hits his hand or arm he has to come out of the game. Sorry Denard, I love you bud, and you have given your all for this team... But we will never be great with you. Please consider bowing out of the QB race for next season.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:06 a.m.

Mich never passes out of the read option this year. This is the reason it hasn't been as successful. Borges has done everything wrong for Robinson. He doesn't spread out the defense for him to run and he doesn't freeze the defense with the threat of running on any pass plays. The fact that Borges doesn't get this is very laughable. He is a joke. The defense this year disguises the fact that the offense this year is suffering from the coaching of a below average mind.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:51 a.m.

Whenever you critisize this offense the only argument those in favor of it have is how bad RR's offense was. Tell me what that has to do with running a dumbed-down, predictable, unimaginative offense. Cant Borges do any better than that ?


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

Michigan this year never passes out of the read option. This is the reason it is not as effective this year compared to the last.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:03 a.m.

Couldn't tell that that is a Michigan poll, lol. I think Michigan can slow down Burkhead but I've really enjoyed watching him in some games. Unless they change up some play calling DR isn't getting in space and breaking free much.

jeff blue

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 11:47 p.m.

Time to step up big! We have not played the best in the 2011 B10 yet: PSU -- off of schedule in 2011 Wiscy -- off of schedule in 2011 NEB -- big game this Saturday OSU -- really big game in about ten days Thus far we have played: Minny Purdue Illinios Northwestern MSU (loss) Iowa (loss) So we are 4 - 2 with two home games coming up. We haven't won against any good B10 teams yet. Now we have the huge opportunity to win against two great programs. This is it. GO BLUE JEFF


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 11:40 p.m.

With Hoke, Borges: L With Our King: W Just as a side: putting numbers back on the helmets is a big waste, and is just another sign of how much Hoke loves yesteryear and a return to plodding teams playing in non-Crystal Bowls.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 7:04 p.m.

With "Your King" the Nebraska game would be eerily similar to last year's 37-7 thrashing we took from OSU, or the 52-14 beat down we suffered from Miss. St. Go Coach Hoke ! Go Blue !


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:55 p.m.

Mick, you left out "king of throwing players, former coaches, fans,... under the bus."


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 11:51 a.m.

Surely, you jest.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 7:06 a.m.

Theo, your king as you like to refer him, was king of some things alright. Let's see, where to begin? Hmm? King of awful defenses, king of predictable offenses with small guys that got punched in the mouth by good defenses, king of AWFUL special teams, king of ruining the confidence of a scholarship kicker who stunk with him as coach and now he seems like he's at least able to be an adequate kicker. Want more? Oh okay, king of losing, king of declining recruiting, king of getting beat by ranked teams, man I'm getting tired, but there's more, king of.......


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6 a.m.

Yea.. Denard left, Denard right, Denard middle was just sooo unstoppable and imaginative.. Anyone still apologizing for or supporting RR is delirious. Our offense is only down by less than a point per game last i seen, and the defense has went from the bottom of the country to the near top. You RR slappies have got to be joking at this point..


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:44 a.m.

I agree. with Hoke and Borges we have a dumbing down of the offense. It is very predictable and unimaginative.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:07 a.m.

Several years ago I stepped into a bar and grill in Henderson, NV (Green Valley, sorry) called the Kopper Keg. In the corner behind glass was some Michigan gear, including a helmet with the 57 on it. "Frank Nunley", I said out loud. The helmets rock.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 11:53 p.m.

Man, I am really glad I read your post. Yesteryear we won a few championships. The other guy never ever won one. In fact, a sprained thumb of his QB and no backup plan in a game an hour from their campus kept him right out of the running.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 10:37 p.m.

The Michigan run defense has improved so now it must maintain for this game. I hope we see some good things from Denard but it would have to be on broken plays. The designed run for Denard will not work as we have seen the past 4 games, at least. The Michigan tailbacks, mainly Fitz Toussaint, the recieving corps as well as Denard need to step up in order for us to win. And yes, no Michigan turnovers. Quite a wish list...GO BLUE!!!


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 10:54 p.m.

I agree with you Runner. I think the turnover battle is the biggest key. If Denard holds on to the ball and does not throw any picks mich. can win pretty handly. Do you realize that Nebraska has had 25 fumbles so far this year! They have only lost 7 of them but that is a huge number of times the ball is on the ground and I dont see any difference this week as I think Michigan has the best Defense (#5 scoring D in the land and yes I know Penn. St. is #3)in the big ten after last week. Go Blue!