Rapid Reaction: Michigan, Nebraska on entirely different levels after blowout in B1G opener
“This could get worse before it gets better.”
That’s the quote Scott Frost used earlier this week when he talked about Nebraska’s 0-2 start. It got worse on Saturday against Michigan. A lot worse.
Michigan didn’t even need a full quarter to exert its power over the Huskers in the B1G opener. In the first 12 minutes, the Wolverines had a 20-0 lead, Karan Higdon rushed for over 100 yards and Nebraska ran just 10 plays.
A 20-point lead snowballed into a 39-0 advantage at the half. It was the largest deficit Nebraska has faced in the “modern history of the program.” This just one week after starting the season 0-2 for the first time since 1957.
Two things became clear in Michigan’s 56-10 thrashing of Nebraska in Ann Arbor: the Wolverines have elite talent on their roster and the Huskers do not. Two of the most tradition-rich programs in the sport are playing entirely different games.
We kind of knew that entering Saturday’s contest. The Wolverines were three-touchdown favorite and had blown out Western Michigan and SMU. The Huskers suffered a pair of five-point losses to Colorado and Troy. But did we assume the two teams were this far apart?
Michigan dominated every facet of the game. They racked up nearly 500 yards of total offense, though it felt closer to 1,000. It held Nebraska to just 39 rushing yards and didn’t surrender a touchdown until the 4:14 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Wolverines looked like a team determined to compete for a championship. The Huskers looked like a team that will struggle to win a game. Michigan has looked better each week. Nebraska has looked worse.
Michigan’s ability to run the ball effectively has given new life and optimism to the program, even as they sit with that early-season loss to Notre Dame. The offensive line has shown incredible progress and appears capable of competing with anyone.
They’re very much in the B1G picture.
We knew Michigan and Nebraska weren’t on the same level entering Saturday’s matchup. But it’s hard to imagine anyone believed the two programs were so far apart.