Instant Analysis: Michigan 17, Nebraska 10 H

November, 19, 2011
11/19/11
1:36
PM ET
Stat of the half: Four. Michigan held Rex Burkhead, the Big Ten's leading rusher entering Saturday, to four yards rushing in the first half. Burkhead had been averaging 5.1 yards a carry this season and has gained 1,072 yards entering the game. The Wolverines stifled him and the Cornhuskers went away from him, only giving him the ball four times.

Best player in the half: Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. The junior has gone back, in some ways, to his earlier ways. He has been more willing to run when the first or second options aren't there in the passing game and also made some good throws -- including a perfectly-thrown touchdown pass to Jeremy Gallon in the first quarter. He's also making more checks at the line of scrimmage, although it is unclear if they are MIKE reads, run/pass checks or side of field reads.

What Michigan needs to do, What Nebraska needs to do: Michigan -- The Wolverines have to keep doing what they have been doing. Save for a few broken contain runs by Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez, Michigan has done a good job with the Cornhuskers run game, almost neutralizing running back Rex Burkhead. Safety Jordan Kovacs and middle linebacker Kenny Demens were especially good in the first half on their reads. On offense, the Wolverines have moved the ball well and done a lot of good things with Robinson. Nebraska -- Find room for Burkhead to run. The Nebraska star gained just four yards in the first half -- but kept him in control when he ran between the tackles. The Cornhuskers would be well advised to try and get Burkhead out toward the edge of the field, where the Wolverines have struggled at points this season.

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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