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Game Week: VS. Michigan

Photo Credit: NU Athletic Communications Photo Credit: NU Athletic Communications

Sept. 30, 2023 | MEMORIAL STADIUM

Record: 2-2, 0-1 B1G
Last Game: vs. Louisiana Tech (W, 28-14)
Rankings: NR
Coach: Matt Rhule
Career/NU Record: 49-45 (8th Year)/2-2 (2nd Year)
vs. Michigan: 0-0

Record: 4-0, 1-0 B1G
Last Game: vs. Rutgers (W, 31-7)
Rankings: AP – 2nd, Coaches – 2nd
Coach: Jim Harbaugh
Career/MICH Record: 75-25 (9th Year)/133-52 (16th Year)
vs. Nebraska: 3-0

All-Time Series: Michigan leads, 7-4-1
In Lincoln: Tied, 1-1-1
Last Game: Michigan, 34-3 in Ann Arbor (2022)
Win Streak: Michigan, 3 games

TV – Fox (Jason Benetti, Brock Huard, Allison Williams)
RADIO NETWORK – Huskers Radio Network (Greg Sharpe, Damon Benning, Jessica Coody)
APP AUDIO – Official Huskers App

The Matchup
Nebraska returns to Big Ten Conference play and finishes a three-game homestand on Saturday afternoon when the Huskers entertain the second-ranked Michigan Wolverines at Memorial Stadium. Game time in Lincoln is set for shortly after 2:30 p.m. Central time, with the game televised by FOX and available on the Fox Sports App. The radio broadcast will be available on the Huskers Radio Network, the official Huskers App and

Nebraska won its second straight game last Saturday with a 28-14 victory over Louisiana Tech. The Huskers used a powerful running game to wear down the Bulldogs and take control with three touchdowns on their first four possessions of the second half. Nebraska finished the game with 312 rushing yards, including a pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game since the 2020 season. Defensively, the Blackshirt defense limited Louisiana Tech to 46 rushing yards. 

Michigan comes to Lincoln with a 4-0 record, including a 1-0 Big Ten mark following last week's 31-7
victory over Rutgers in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines are ranked second in both polls this week and have captured the past two Big Ten Conference titles. Coach Jim Harbaugh's squad has been impressive on both sides of the ball this season. Michigan leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 5.8 points per game and is third in total defense, allowing 231.0 yards per game. The Wolverine offense is one of the nation's most efficient passing attacks, completing better than 77 percent of its attempts. Saturday's contest pits two of just eight football programs in the nation with at least 900 victories. Michigan ranks first in all-time victories, while the Huskers rank eighth nationally in wins.

Series History: Nebraska vs. Michigan
Saturday's meeting between Nebraska and Michigan will be the 13th all-time between the schools, with Michigan holding a 7-4-1 advantage. This marks the third time Michigan has visited Lincoln, including trips to Memorial Stadium in 2012 and 2021.

• The Huskers and Wolverines have met six times since Nebraska joined the Big Ten, with Michigan holding a 4-2 edge.

• Between 1962 and 2011 the only meetings between the two historical powerhouses were a pair of bowl matchups. Michigan was victorious in the Fiesta Bowl following the 1985 season (27-23), when the Wolverines were quarterbacked by current head coach Jim Harbaugh. Nebraska defeated Michigan 32-28 in the 2005 Alamo Bowl, when it was led by quarterback Zac Taylor, the current head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Matchup to Pit Two Historical Programs
Saturday's meeting between Nebraska and Michigan matches up two of the most successful programs in the history of college football.

• Michigan and Nebraska rank first and eighth, respectively, in all-time victories in college football. The Wolverines have 993 all-time victories, while the Huskers have 914 wins in the history of the program.

• Michigan and Nebraska have combined for 16 national championships, with the Wolverines winning 11 and Nebraska owning five national titles. The schools shared the 1997 national championship. Together, Nebraska and Michigan have won 90 conference championships, including 46 by Nebraska and 44 by Michigan.

Blackshirts Flexing Muscle Early in Season
Nebraska's defense has performed well in 2023, ranking among the nation's best teams in stopping the run and pressuring the passer. Nebraska also boasts one of the nation's most improved defenses under first-year Head Coach Matt Rhule and defensive coordinator Tony White.

• The Husker defense ranks 23rd nationally in total defense, allowing 298.0 yards per game. The average through four games is a 216.0-yard improvement when compared to the first four games of the 2022 season.

• Nebraska ranks 21st nationally in allowing only 4.46 yards per play, including just 1.83 yards per opponent rushing attempt, which ranks second in the country. Opponents have a total of 185 rushing yards on 101 attempts.

• Northern Illinois managed just 149 total yards in the Huskers' 35-11 victory on Sept. 16. The Huskies had just 87 total yards before the final drive of the game. The 149 total yards were the fewest by a Nebraska opponent since Kansas had 87 yards on Nov. 13, 2010. The last time Nebraska had limited an opponent to fewer than 200 yards was at Illinois in 2017.

Nowhere to Run
The most dominant part of the Blackshirt defense through four games has been stopping the run and pressuring the passer. Nebraska owns the nation's second-most improved run defense compared to 2022, allowing 142.9 fewer yards per game on the ground.

• Nebraska leads the nation in rushing defense, allowing just 46.2 rushing yards per game.

• Minnesota (55 yards), Colorado (58), Northern Illinois (26) and Louisiana Tech (46) have all rushed for fewer than 100 yards. It is the longest stretch of holding opponents to 100 yards or less rushing since limiting five straight opponents to less than 100 rushing yards in the last two games of the 2003 season and the first three games in 2004.

• Nebraska's four-game streak of holding its opponent to less than 60 yards on the ground is its longest since achieving that milestone in the first four games of the 1999 season.

• Nebraska has allowed just six rushing plays of 10 or more yards, tied for second in the nation.

• Nebraska has registered 14 sacks, including a season-high eight at Colorado. The 3.5 sacks per game lead the Big Ten and rank 11th in the nation. The Huskers' 104 sack yards are 11th in the nation. Nebraska's 6.2 tackles for loss per game ranks fifth in the Big Ten.

• The Huskers racked up eight sacks at No. 22 Colorado. The team sack total was Nebraska's best since recording 9.0 sacks against Texas in the 2009 Big 12 Championship Game.

Running Attack Powers Husker Offense
Nebraska has put an emphasis on a powerful rushing attack under Head Coach Matt Rhule. Through four games, the Huskers are averaging 234.8 rushing yards per game to lead the Big Ten and rank sixth nationally.

• Nebraska rushed for 312 yards in its victory over Louisiana Tech, marking its first 300-yard rushing game since running for 427 yards against Northwestern in 2021.

• The Huskers have rushed for 200 yards in each of the past three games, marking NU's first time with 200-plus rushing yards in three straight games since 2018 games against Northwestern, Minnesota and Bethune-Cookman.

• Nebraska has topped 180 rushing yards in all four games, its longest such streak since having five straight games with more than 180 rushing yards in the middle of the 2018 season.

• Quarterback Heinrich Haarberg (157 yards) and running back Anthony Grant (135 yards) each topped the century mark against Louisiana Tech. It marked the first time Nebraska had two players crack 100 rushing yards in the same game since QB Adrian Martinez and RB Dedrick Mills did so against Rutgers in 2020.

• Nebraska has six rushing plays of 30 yards or more which is tied for second nationally. The Huskers had four 30-plus yard runs against Louisiana Tech.

This Week’s Numbers
2 – Michigan enters Saturday's matchup ranked second in the nation in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Polls. This marks the fifth straight year Nebraska has faced a top-five opponent, including last year's game at No. 3 Michigan.

3 – Nebraska tight end Thomas Fidone II has caught a touchdown pass in three consecutive games. He is the first Nebraska tight end with a TD catch in three straight games since the 2008 season.

200 - Nebraska has rushed for more than 200 yards in three straight games, including a season-high 312 yards against Louisiana Tech. This is the first time since 2018 NU has had three straight 200-yard rushing games. Nebraska is sixth nationally in rushing offense at 234.8 yards per game.