Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics
Nebraska completes a two-game prime-time homestand this Saturday when the Huskers play host to Michigan at Memorial Stadium. The meeting between two of the most tradition-rich programs in college football is set to kick off shortly after 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on ABC and can be heard on the Huskers Radio Network.
Nebraska stands at 3-3 on the season and 1-2 in Big Ten Conference play after a dominant 56-7 victory over Northwestern on Saturday night. Nebraska scored its most points in 11 seasons of Big Ten Conference play, while also posting its largest margin of victory in a league game in 20 seasons. Nebraska’s offense rolled up better than 600 yards for the second time this season, becoming the first team to record 600 yards of total offense against Northwestern in 16 seasons.
Michigan comes into the game with a perfect 5-0 record and a 2-0 mark in the Big Ten following a 38-17 victory at Wisconsin on Saturday. Michigan is ranked ninth in the Associated Press Poll and eighth in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Wolverines controlled the matchup with Wisconsin from the outset, and pulled away with 28 unanswered points in the second half. Michigan held Wisconsin to just 43 rushing yards and 210 total yards, while forcing three Badger turnovers.
Coach Jim Harbaugh’s team is among the nation’s best running teams. Michigan averages 255.0 yards per game on the ground to lead the Big Ten and rank seventh nationally. Defensively, the Wolverines allow just 12.8 points per game and 285.8 total yards per game and have held each of their five opponents to 17 points or less.
Saturday night’s matchup at Memorial Stadium marks Michigan’s first visit to Lincoln since 2012.
Series History: Nebraska vs. Michigan
Saturday’s matchup between Nebraska and Michigan will be the 11th all-time matchup between the two schools, with Michigan owning a 5-4-1 advantage. The teams have split four games since Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference in 2011.
• Saturday’s meeting will be Michigan’s first visit to Lincoln since 2012, when unranked Nebraska defeated No. 20 Michigan, 23-9, in a prime-time matchup at Memorial Stadium.
• This will be just the third meeting between the schools in Lincoln, with schools playing to a tie in a matchup in 1911.
• While the schools met just four times in Nebraska’s first 10 years in the Big Ten, Nebraska and Michigan are set to meet each year from 2021 to 2025.
• Before Nebraska’s entry into the Big Ten, the teams played just twice between 1962 and 2011, splitting a pair of bowl matchups. Michigan won 27-23 in the 1986 Fiesta Bowl, while Nebraska earned a four-point win in the 2005 Alamo Bowl.
Husker-Wolverines Tilt Features Two Traditional Powers
Nebraska and Michigan are two of just eight schools in college football history to win 900 or more games, with Michigan ranking first in all-time victories (969) and Nebraska seventh (908).
This marks the fourth time in the past three seasons that Nebraska has played in a game matching two programs with 900 or more victories. Nebraska’s games with Ohio State in 2019 and 2020, and its trip to Oklahoma on Sept. 18, 2021, also matched 900-win programs.
• Nebraska and Michigan have combined to win 16 national championships, including sharing the 1997 national title. The schools have also combined to win 88 conference titles, including 46 by Nebraska and 42 by Michigan, and have made 101 combined bowl appearances.
Prime Time in Memorial Stadium
Nebraska will play Michigan under the lights, marking the Huskers’ second straight night game at Memorial Stadium. Prior to last week’s game with Northwestern, Nebraska had not played a home night game since a 2019 matchup with Ohio State. Saturday’s game with Michigan will be just the fourth night game for Nebraska in Scott Frost’s four seasons as head coach.
• Historically, Nebraska has a strong history of success in night games at Memorial Stadium. The Huskers are 48-8 all-time in home night games since their first prime-time game at Memorial Stadium in 1986.
• Nebraska is 7-3 in home prime-time games against Big Ten foes since joining the league in 2011.
• Including the Sept. 25 prime-time road game at Michigan State, Nebraska will be playing its third straight night game this Saturday. This is the first time NU has had three straight night games since a three-game stretch in 2019 (Northern Illinois, at Illinois, Ohio State).
• This is the first time Nebraska has had home night games in back-to-back weeks since October of 2017 when the Huskers hosted Wisconsin and Ohio State under the lights in two straight games.
Huskers to Face Another Ranked Opponent
Michigan enters Saturday night’s game ranked No. 9 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 8 in the Coaches Poll. Michigan will be the third nationally ranked opponent for Nebraska in the past four games, joining Oklahoma (No. 3) and Michigan State (No. 20). Nebraska also has remaining games scheduled against AP No. 3 Iowa and seventh-ranked Ohio State.
• This marks the first time Nebraska has faced three ranked opponents in a four-game span in the same season since 2011, when NU played against ranked opponents (at Penn State, at Michigan) in two of the final three regular-season games and played No. 10 South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl.
• Nebraska also played ranked opponents three times in a four-game stretch spanning the end of the 2019 season and the 2020 season opener at Ohio State.
Blackshirts Playing at High Level in 2021
The veteran Nebraska Blackshirt defense has shown its teeth in 2021, beginning with dominant efforts in home victories over Fordham and Buffalo. The Blackshirts have carried the momentum the past three weeks and rank among the Big Ten’s best defenses.
• Nebraska has held five straight opponents to 23 or fewer points, marking the first time Nebraska has held five straight opponents to 23 points or less since games 4-8 of the 2016 season.
• The Blackshirt defense has limited all three Big Ten opponents to 326 or fewer yards. Dating back to last season, Nebraska has held four straight Big Ten opponents to 350 yards or fewer, its longest streak in Big Ten play since the 2016 season.
• The Blackshirts most impressive defensive effort of the season may have come at No. 20 Michigan State. The Huskers held MSU to 254 total yards in an overtime loss. In the final 30 minutes of regulation, Michigan State had no first downs and gained just 14 yards on 15 offensive plays.
• Nebraska held Northwestern scoreless in the second half on Saturday night. In the past two games, the Blackshirts have allowed just seven first downs in the second half, zero offensive points, and a combined 120 yards on 45 opponent snaps.
• Nebraska held Oklahoma’s high-powered offense to 408 total yards in a 23-16 setback on Sept.18. OU’s offensive output ended a streak of seven straight games with the Blackshirts limiting opponents to fewer than 400 yards. It was the first time NU has held seven straight foes to less than 400 yards of offense since an eight-game streak spanning the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
• The Blackshirts posted one of the best defensive efforts against Oklahoma in recent years. Nebraska limited the Sooners to 23 points, ending OU’s FBS record streak of 65 straight games with at least 27 points.
• Oklahoma was held to seven points in the first half, marking the first time the Sooners were held to single digits in the first half of a home game since 2012.
• The Blackshirt defense allowed 33 points in a three-game stretch from Fordham to Oklahoma. That was the fewest points Nebraska has allowed in a three-game stretch since the 2010 season.
• Nebraska defeated Fordham (52-7) and Buffalo (28-3) in consecutive home wins. The defensive efforts in its two victories marked the first time Nebraska has held back-to-back opponents to single digits since 2010 when NU defeated Kansas 20-3 and lost 9-6 at Texas A&M. Nebraska has allowed just 17 total points in three home games in 2021.
• The three points allowed against Buffalo were Nebraska’s fewest since a 24-3 win over Michigan State in 2011. Nebraska held the Bulls scoreless in the first half, the first opponent NU has blanked in the first half since taking a 34-0 halftime lead at Maryland in 2019.
• Nebraska went more than seven quarters without allowing a touchdown before Oklahoma’s first-quarter score. Nebraska also went 79:57 of game action without allowing a point prior to Buffalo’s third-quarter field goal.
• Nebraska did not allow a point in the fourth quarter of its first three games before an Oklahoma touchdown in the fourth quarter. Nebraska has outscored the opposition 55-14 in the fourth quarter, with the defense allowing just seven of those points.
• The defense has also set the tone in the first quarter. Opponents have scored just 16 first-quarter points, with the Blackshirts surrending just two first-quarter touchdowns in six games.
• The Husker defense forced four turnovers against Fordham and Buffalo, with all four takeaways leading to Nebraska touchdowns (28 points). NU’s three takeaways against Fordham were its most since forcing four turnovers at Maryland in 2019. Nebraska intercepted three passes vs. Fordham, the first game with three picks since the 2019 season opener against South Alabama.
Click here to read Nebraska’s full notes package