No. 9 Michigan made a good bit of noise in the first five weeks by going unbeaten, and it'll aim to keep up the momentum when it heads west on Saturday night to take on Nebraska. Nowhere to be found in AP Top 25 to begin the season, the Wolverines now find themselves ranked in the top 10 after their 5-0 start. And now they are emerging as one of the biggest surprises this season in terms of success. Of course, people wonder if that's a ranking based more on reputation and recognition than performance.
While the Wolverines might be 5-0, their "big" wins have come against Washington and Wisconsin -- two teams that had high expectations coming into the season but haven't lived up to them. And while Western Michigan, Northern Illinois and Rutgers all currently have winning records, the odds are Western's the only one of the three that will finish the season that way.
Will a road win against Nebraska change anybody's mind? The Cornhuskers are only 3-3 on the season, but all three of their losses have come on the road. They've been perfect at home, however, where last week they crushed Northwestern 56-7.
Michigan vs. Nebraska: Need to know
Nebraska is better than you think: The Cornhuskers won't impress many people with their 3-3 record, but this team has a perception problem. Many college football fans saw Nebraska lose the first game of the season against Illinois and wrote them off. They've played much better since, though. As I mentioned, the Huskers are 0-3 on the road, but two of those losses came to Oklahoma and Michigan State, who are a combined 10-0. More importantly, they were close losses, as the Huskers lost by a touchdown in Norman and a field goal in East Lansing.
Nobody should expect Nebraska to reel off six straight wins to finish the season, but this is a team capable of pulling off a surprising upset along the way.
Michigan needs to find a passing game: We know the Wolverines can run the ball. They lead the Big Ten in rushing yards per game with 255 (7th nationally), but those numbers result from Michigan's first three games against Western Michigan, Washington and Northern Illinois. Over the last two games against Rutgers and Wisconsin, Michigan has rushed for 224 yards on 82 carries (2.7 yards per). While not elite, the Nebraska defense has allowed only 3.67 yards per carry this season and will look to take the run away from Michigan on Saturday.
Can Michigan beat a team with its passing attack? At some point, it's going to find itself in a situation where it has to.
Michigan has never won a game in Lincoln: All right, so this stat is misleading, but it's true! Michigan and Nebraska have only played 10 times in history, with four coming after Nebraska joined the Big Ten. They've only played in Lincoln once, and Nebraska won that game 23-9.
How to watch Michigan vs. Nebraska live
Date: Saturday, Oct. 9 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium -- Lincoln, Nebraska
TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Michigan vs. Nebraska prediction, picks
I'm looking to take advantage of perception here. Michigan is 5-0 and ranked in the top 10, while Nebraska is 3-3 and lost to Illinois. You're naive if you don't think these factors are having an impact on the point spread. Now, while I'm picking the Cornhuskers to pull off the outright upset, I'm not nearly as confident in that as I am the Huskers covering the spread. I find it difficult to trust Michigan's offense to cover as road favorites against a team that can score points. Nebraska can score points. Prediction: Nebraska (+3)
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