No. 9 Michigan escaped Lincoln with a 32-29 victory over Nebraska on Saturday after a heads-up play from Michigan defensive back Brad Hawkins and yet another mental mistake from Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers faced third-and-1 tied 29-29 and just needed to hold onto the ball to either force overtime or put together a game-winning drive. Quarterback Adrian Martinez held the ball and ran up the middle for a first down, but instead of going down, Martinez kept driving his legs for more yardage. Hawkins proceeded to enter the scrum and pulled the ball right from Martinez's hands, a worst-case scenario for Nebraska as it tried to complete its upset bid. Nebraska's defense did its part, driving the Wolverines back 3 yards, but Michigan kicker Jake Moody nailed a 39-yard go-ahead field goal.
Martinez completed a 25-yard pass to Samori Toure on the first play of a potential game-tying drive, but the march stalled and Nebraska turned it over on downs. Nebraska coach Scott Frost moved to 0-10 against ranked opponents following the loss.
The loss was made even more frustrating by the odds Nebraska overcame just to get into the game. The Cornhuskers trailed 13-0 at halftime but scored 22 points in the third quarter to take a lead. However, costly mistakes left Nebraska without a much-needed signature victory.
Michigan running back Hassan Haskins had a strong day with 21 carries for 123 yards rushing and two scores in the victory, while Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara threw for 255 yards. Martinez threw for 291 yards, rushed for 38 yards and posted four touchdowns, all after halftime, but his two turnovers proved costly.
The Wolverines moved to 6-0 and face their first ranked opponent at the end of the month. Nebraska moved to 3-4 with all four of its losses having been by one score.