LINCOLN, Neb. — This is what Bo Pelini had been waiting for: A big win. And that’s exactly what Saturday night’s 23-9 victory over Michigan was. Oh, Pelini has won some important games since taking over as Nebraska coach in 2008. One of my favorites was at the 2009 victory in the rain at Missouri.
Ameer Abdullah ran for 101 yards and a touchdown and Nebraska took control of the Big Ten Legends Division with a 23-9 victory over No. 20 Michigan on Saturday night. Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson left the game late in the first half with a right elbow injury. Robinson, who spent the second half on the sideline in an overcoat, watched as freshman backup Russell Bellomy threw three interceptions.
Nebraska’s defense shut down Michigan, allowing only nine yards of offense in the third quarter and the Cornhuskers now lead 16-9. Nebraska held the Wolverines to negative rushing yardage (-3 yards) in the quarter.
Nebraska sniffed out Michigan’s rushing attack in the second quarter, holding the Wolverines to 20 rush yards and the Cornhuskers now lead 7-6. Michigan’s Brendan Gibbons made two field goals in the quarter, including a 52-yarder.
The two teams combined for more punts than points in a slow first quarter and the game is tied 0-0 at the end of the first quarter. Both teams saw their defenses make stands, forcing three punts in the quarter.
In my preview of this Saturday’s six games, I believe most teams will play with a real sense of urgency. Nebraska and Michigan are two good examples, but Ohio State and Penn State each have something to prove, too. Michigan State and Wisconsin have a history, Iowa leads Northwestern in the standings, and Purdue, Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois each seek their first conference win.
Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners.
Saturday is fast approaching. Here are my most pressing questions for each school. The answers may come Saturday, but if you want to tackle them now, let me know in the comments box or via my Big Ten mailbag. Read all of my Big Ten coverage here. And don’t be afraid to drop ask me a question on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).
This shapes up as a great weekend that is headlined by Michigan’s visit to Nebraska in a huge Legends clash that will go a long way toward determining who will win the division.