Cornhuskers building momentum
November, 9, 2013
By Chantel Jennings | ESPN.com
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Nebraska rode its Hail Mary high all the way from Lincoln last weekend to Ann Arbor this weekend, delivering Michigan its first loss in the Big House during coach Brady Hoke’s tenure.
The 17-13 victory came on the heels of a stellar defensive performance, sacking quarterback Devin Gardner seven times, and holding the Wolverines to minus-21 rushing yards -- the lowest rushing total by a Nebraska opponent since Troy State in 2001.
“I'm proud of that group of kids in the locker room. We're a little shorthanded right now but the character on that football team showed, they just fought until the end,” coach Bo Pelini said. “The way they played, they played with passion. … Guys rose to the occasion. And we talked all week about that, no matter the odds or where we were playing, we were going to play as a team and pick each other up.”
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesZaire Anderson posted two of Nebraska's seven sacks of Devin Gardner.
The win ramps up the implications for next weekend’s game against Michigan State. The Spartans sit one game in front the Cornhuskers and if Nebraska can pick up a win, the Huskers inch closer and closer to playing for the Big Ten championship.
The team that showed up against Michigan is one that seems more threatening to the Spartans than the Nebraska that lost to Minnesota less than a month ago. And Pelini, who is 18-4 at Nebraska during November, has a group that could be primed to go on a run this month.
Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. led a 75-yard, fourth-quarter drive to put Nebraska up by four. On a fourth-and-2 he converted a 26-yard pass to Kenny Bell while Ameer Abdullah took the pressure off for the run game.
And the Nebraska defense followed that up with its own standup performance, holding Gardner and the Michigan offense from advancing more than 16 yards and effectively ending the game.
“That's a great feeling, but we have to move on to next week,” Armstrong said. “This was a great win. It was a tough win. It was a team win, and our defense got us a bunch of stops. They played the best ball they've ever played.”
Top Returning Players: Big Ten West
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35