AP NEWS

No. 19 Michigan opens Big Ten season versus winless Nebraska

September 20, 2018

Nebraska (0-2, 0-0 Big Ten) at No. 19 Michigan (2-1, 0-0), noon ET (FS1).

Line: Michigan by 19.

Series record: Tied 4-4-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Wolverines are seeking their first Big Ten title since 2004. They can’t afford a setback in the conference opener in Jim Harbaugh’s fourth season. The Cornhuskers and first-year coach Scott Frost are hoping to avoid Nebraska’s first 0-3 start since 1945.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan QB Shea Patterson against Nebraska’s defense. The Mississippi transfer has completed 71 percent of his passes and has thrown six TDs and only one INT the last two weeks. The Cornhuskers have allowed opponents to connect on 66 percent of their passes, throwing three TDs and one INT.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nebraska: JD Spielman. The sophomore wide receiver is 58 yards receiving away from the 1,000-yard mark. If Spielman reaches it against Michigan or next week at Purdue, he will become the quickest to reach the milestone in school history. Johnny Rodgers, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1972, had 1,000 yards receiving in his 16th game at Nebraska.

Michigan: Chase Winovich. The fifth-year senior has been the team’s best player on defense. Winovich matched his career high with 10 tackles against SMU and had three tackles for losses as he did against Notre Dame.

FACTS & FIGURES

Both coaches were star quarterbacks for the teams they’re leading. ... Nebraska has lost six in a row, dating to last season in Mike Riley’s third and final year, for the first time since it closed 1957 with seven setbacks. ... Michigan has won 11 of its last 12 Big Ten openers — losing to Minnesota in 2014 — and 34 of the last 36. ... Nebraska lost it first two games at home, falling 33-28 to Colorado and 24-19 last week against Troy. ... The Wolverines averaged 47 points in the two previous games, beating Western Michigan by 45 and SMU by 20 points. ... Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez has not played since a right knee injury knocked him out of the opener. ... Michigan LB Khaleke Hudson will not be eligible to play until the second half because he was ejected for targeting last week against SMU.

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