Michigan at Nebraska

Huskers handle Wolverines, take first place in Big Ten Legends Division

CBSSports.com wire reports

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Ameer Abdullah ran for 101 yards and a touchdown and Nebraska took control of the Big Ten Legends Division with a 23-9 victory over No. 20 Michigan on Saturday night.

Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson left the game late in the first half with a right elbow injury. Robinson, who spent the second half on the sideline in an overcoat, watched as freshman backup Russell Bellomy threw three interceptions.

The Huskers (6-2, 3-1) moved into a first-place tie with Michigan in the Legends but own the tiebreaker.

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Michigan (5-3, 3-1) generated a season-low 188 yards during its first visit to Memorial Stadium since 1911. The Wolverines had 52 in the second half.

"This was a big step for us," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. "Just like I told the team, you win and the season goes on and it takes you higher and higher."

Asked about being in the driver's seat in the division heading into the next game at Michigan State, Pelini said, "I don't buy into any of that."

It was the second straight game Michigan failed to score a touchdown.

"When you count on field goals and get into the red zone and don't score [touchdowns], that will hurt you in a big game. That's what happened," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said.

Taylor Martinez was 14 of 24 for 166 yards, with an interception for the Huskers. Bellomy was 3 of 16 for 38 yards.

Robinson has accounted for two-thirds of Michigan's offensive production this season, and the Wolverines were lost without him. Hoke said Robinson aggravated a nerve injury in his right elbow when he was tackled at the Nebraska 8 late in the first half.

"When he hit it, he hit it the wrong way," Hoke said.

Hoke gave no additional details on Robinson's status.

Bellomy was off target on his first 10 passes, and two of his interceptions resulted in 10 Nebraska points. Daimion Stafford picked off his underthrown ball early in the fourth to set up Abdullah's 12-yard touchdown run for a 23-9 lead.

Abdullah, filling in for the injured Rex Burkhead, went over 100 yards for the fourth time this season.

"In the second half, especially late in the third quarter, we didn't tackle well as a defense," Hoke said. "When you don't tackle well in a big game, it doesn't go well."

Brett Maher kicked field goals of 19, 51 and 31 yards, with his last one putting Nebraska up 16-6 in the third quarter.

Michigan got within 16-9 late in the third quarter on Brenan Gibbons' 38-yard field goal. The Wolverines moved 58 yards on the series, but 45 of them were the result of Nebraska penalties.

Josh Mitchell was called for a high hit on Roy Roundtree, the Nebraska bench was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and Andrew Green interfered with Roundtree on a pass to the end zone.

The Huskers were penalized eight times for 104 yards.

Nebraska led 7-6 after a defense-dominated first half.

The Huskers broke through for a touchdown early in the second quarter, with Martinez needing only a couple minutes to move his team 72 yards. Nebraska had netted just 8 rushing yards on its first six runs, so offensive coordinator Tim Beck called on Martinez to pass on five of the six plays.

He hit Ben Cotton for 15 yards, Jamal Turner for 12, Quincy Enunwa for 5 and Stephen Osborne for 19 before going downfield to Kenny Bell. Bell almost stopped while waiting for the ball to arrive along the sideline, then he turned and dived for the pylon to finish the 32-yard touchdown.

Gibbons finished the next two Michigan drives with field goals of 52 and 24 yards to make it a one-point game.

Robinson ran for 46 yards on 10 carries and completed 6 of 11 passes for 55 yards before he got hurt.

The game was billed as the second meeting ever between quarterbacks who each have 5,000 yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing in their careers. The first such game matched Texas' Vince Young against Missouri's Brad Smith in 2005.

The Huskers have won 11 straight night games at Memorial Stadium and are 37-5 under the lights in Lincoln since 1986.

Nebraska commemorated the 50th anniversary of its NCAA-record sellout streak. Saturday's game was the 323rd in a row.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Ameer Abdullah (8) scores a touchdown and finishes with 101 yards on the ground to help Nebraska win a key division game. (US Presswire)
Ameer Abdullah (8) scores a touchdown and finishes with 101 yards on the ground to help Nebraska win a key division game. (US Presswire)

Related Video

Scoring Summary
NEBKenny Bell 32 yd pass from Taylor Martinez (Brett Maher kick)
MICHBrendan Gibbons 52 yd FG
MICHBrendan Gibbons 24 yd FG
NEBBrett Maher 19 yd FG
NEBBrett Maher 51 yd FG
NEBBrett Maher 31 yd FG
MICHBrendan Gibbons 38 yd FG
NEBAmeer Abdullah 12 yd run (Brett Maher kick)
Team Stats
First Downs1820
Third Down Efficiency5-154-12
Fourth Down Efficiency0-00-0
Plays-Net Yards64-18865-326
Passing Yds93166
Kick Return Yds9574
Punt Return Yds-30
Time of Poss.31:3628:24
Individual Stats
MICH: Denard Robinson 10-46, Fitzgerald Toussaint 15-38, Jeremy Gallon 3-17, Russell Bellomy 5-0, Vincent Smith 4--6
NEB: Ameer Abdullah 24-101, Taylor Martinez 14-58, Imani Cross 2-4, Team 1--3
MICH: Russell Bellomy 3-16-38-3, Denard Robinson 6-11-55-0
NEB: Taylor Martinez 14-24-166-1
MICH: Jeremy Jackson 2-14, Vincent Smith 2-11, Jeremy Gallon 2-9, Roy Roundtree 1-32, Devin Gardner 1-15, Joe Kerridge 1-12
NEB: Kenny Bell 2-51, Kyler Reed 2-23, Ben Cotton 2-21, Quincy Enunwa 2-14, Ameer Abdullah 2-4, Steven Osborne 1-19, Tim Marlowe 1-16, Jamal Turner 1-12, C.J. Zimmerer 1-6
Michigan1st Big Ten East0-00-0
Nebraska1st Big Ten West0-00-0

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