Saturday, November 19, 2011
Halftime: Michigan 17, Nebraska 10
By Brian Bennett
There was a lot of talk again this week about Denard Robinson's declining production and more calls for Devin Gardner to start at quarterback for Michigan.
Well, Robinson has looked more like the old "Shoelace" so far after a first half that has the Wolverines leading Nebraska 17-10. After not rushing for more than 63 yards his past four games, Robinson already has 75 yards rushing and a score today while looking much fresher. He has also thrown for 98 yards and a touchdown, though he does have an interception. Gardner has yet to get involved.
Michigan had a 10-0 lead as Nebraska looked flat to start. But a great call on a play-action pass from Taylor Martinez to Brandon Kinnie resulted in a 54-yard touchdown as three Michigan defensive backs fell down on the play. Terrence Moore made a terrific play to deflect and then catch a Robinson screen pass to set up a 51-yard field goal by Brett Maher to tie it up.
The Cornhuskers looked a little befuddled by Robinson's running earlier in the game but did manage to corral him late in the half when Michigan had a chance to go in for a late score. The Wolverines have outgained Nebraska 230-125 and have doubled them in offensive snaps (42-21). Michigan has been a second-half team most of the year, so Brady Hoke has to feel pretty good taking a lead into the break.
Rex Burkhead has been surprisingly non-existent for Nebraska, gaining just four yards on four carries as the Wolverines defense has shut down running lanes. It's going to be awfully hard for the Huskers to win this game on the road without getting something from Burkhead.
The power has been out at Michigan Stadium all afternoon, with the scoreboards and play clocks not working. It's like old-timey football, and Michigan has gone back to a more recent past by putting the ball in Robinson's hands.