Grade the Wolverines: Rate Michigan's performance against Nebraska
Touchdowns were so frequent they came in pairs - two passing for Denard Robinson, two rushing for Robinson and two rushing for Fitz Toussaint. Robinson was an efficient 11-of-18 passing with one interception on a tipped pass and rushed 23 times for 83 yards. Toussaint was a workhorse, gaining 138 yards on 29 carries. The Wolverines finished with 418 yards of total offense, 24 first downs and one turnover. Michigan possessed the ball for 41:13 compared to Nebraska’s 18:39.
Robinson won the battle of dual-threat quarterbacks by nearly 100 yards, with Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez throwing for 122 yards (on 9-of-23 passing) and rushing for 49 yards. More impressively, the Michigan defense took Rex Burkhead - the Big Ten’s third-leading rusher - out of the game. He finished with 36 yards on 10 carries. Safety Jordan Kovacs led the defense with seven solo tackles and a sack. The Cornhuskers finished with 260 yards of total offense, 11 first downs and three turnovers.
Brendan Gibbons split a pair of field goal attempts - hitting a 42-yarder into the wind - and was 6-of-6 on point-after kicks. Holder Drew Dileo picked up a first down on a fake field goal that led to a touchdown. Will Hagerup averaged 36.8 yards on four punts. The return game was negligible besides a 32-yard return by Martavious Odoms.
Sold in all aspects. Al Borges’ offense rolled up 45 points on Nebraska without any razzle-dazzle (backup QB Devin Gardner didn’t see the field until it was time for a backup QB) and Greg Mattison’s defense proved once again it’s for real. Notable: Brady Hoke's streak of not wearing long sleeves continues.
The inevitable chant started with six minutes left in the game: “Beat Ohio.” But fans should take a moment to appreciate the biggest win of the brief Brady Hoke era. Michigan manhandled a good Nebraska team and gave itself an outside shot at a BCS bowl game appearance.
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