Michigan vs. Nebraska,
10/27/2012 20:00 EDT,
Score: 9 - 23
Point Spread: +2/-105 Michigan
Michigan Wolverines +2
The Wolverines have put a couple early losses to Alabama and Notre Dame - teams that are a combined 14-0 - behind them and have gotten off to a 3-0 start in Big Ten play. After blowing out Purdue and Illinois, the Wolverines picked up a hard-earned 12-10 win against rival Michigan State last week.
Michigan racked up 326 yards on the Spartans' 5th-ranked defense, which allows just 277.1 yards per game. It will be even more explosive Saturday against a Nebraska stop unit that ranks 44th nationally with 357.6 yards allowed per game.
The Huskers have really struggled to slow down rushing attacks. In fact, they rank 93rd in the nation against the run with 187.9 yards allowed per game. They have their work cut out for themselves against a Michigan running game that has averaged 248.2 yards over its last six games.
The Wolverines gashed the Cornhuskers for 238 yards on the ground in last season's 45-17 victory.
Like Michigan, Nebraska is also very dependent on its running game. The Huskers rank 6th in the country with 279.0 rushing yards per contest, but they'll get nothing easy against the nation's 10th-ranked defense, which only allows 285.3 yards per game.
The Wolverines are giving up 143.0 yards per game on the ground this season. They held Nebraska to just 138 rushing yards last season. The Huskers could really be in a world of hurt if Rex Burkhead isn't able to go. He is doubtful following last week's knee injury.
While I expect Nebraska to be more competitive at home than it was last season in the Big House, I ultimately have it coming up short to what I believe to be a more complete football team on both sides of the ball.
Teams coached by Brady Hoke are 15-4 ATS all-time when matched up against good rushing teams that average 4.75 yards or more per carry. His teams have won in this situation by an average score of 29.4 to 25.1. Take Michigan.