- Mitch Sherman, ESPN Staff Writer
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If it's November, Nebraska must be playing its best football. The Huskers are 18-4 in this month over six seasons under Bo Pelini after a 17-13 win on Saturday over Michigan.
Here's what we learned from the Nebraska victory at the Big House:
1. The Blackshirts deserve their black shirts again. Stripped of their famous practice jerseys two weeks ago after the Huskers lost at Minnesota, the Nebraska defense finally is playing like a unit worthy of its historic moniker. Before Michigan's second-quarter touchdown, Nebraska held its opponents, over two games, out of the end zone on 17 consecutive drives. The Huskers sacked Michigan QB Devin Gardner seven times and recorded 15 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, the highest total by a Nebraska defense since the 2009 Big 12 championship game against Texas.
2. Tommy Armstrong Jr. is a gamer. The redshirt freshman raised a few questions in his past two starts, throwing three interceptions apiece against Purdue and Northwestern. But Armstrong is growing up before our eyes. Before the second-largest crowd ever to watch Nebraska, he avoided turnovers and led a 75-yard, game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter. Armstrong made plays at the end. He was 5 for 7 for 59 yards on the last drive and added 7 rushing yards. Most notably, the Huskers improved to 5-0 with Armstrong as the starting quarterback.
3. The Huskers are worth another look in the Legends Division. At points last week in its comeback win over Northwestern, Nebraska looked like a team that would have to scrap just to get bowl eligible. Now, after the Hail Mary victory and a win at Michigan Stadium, Nebraska is a threat to Michigan State, which visits Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Sure, the Spartans, defensively, present a mismatch for the injury-riddled Huskers. But Nebraska has momentum. It has the home-field advantage and a defense of its own that looks capable of wreaking havoc against MSU. With a win, the Huskers would own the inside track to Indianapolis and the Big Ten title game.