HuskerOnline - Nebraska vs. Michigan: Keys to victory, HOL score predictions
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Nebraska vs. Michigan: Keys to victory, HOL score predictions

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Nebraska football team is off to their worst start to a regular season in modern day program history.

Things will not get any easier on Saturday, as the Huskers (0-2) travel to Michigan (2-1) to take on the No. 19 ranked Wolverines.

As things get closer to kickoff, here are today's keys to victory for Nebraska, along with the HuskerOnline score predictions for Saturday. NU enters today's game in Ann Arbor as an 18.5 point underdog.

Nebraska is 0-2 for the first time to start a season since 1957.
Nebraska is 0-2 for the first time to start a season since 1957. (USA Today)

KEYS TO VICTORY: Nebraska at Michigan 

KEY 1: Finding tempo on offense

Through two games, we've only seen a couple of moments where Nebraska's offense has operated with the tempo you'd expect to see under Scott Frost. The Huskers need to find that tempo on Saturday at Michigan.

KEY 2: Defending the play action

Michigan throws the football less than 20 times per game, and a big part of their passing offense is the play action. They will probably take four to five good shots down the field Saturday, the secondary needs to be ready for this and not allow Shea Patterson to catch them cheating up on the run.

KEY 3: Get Michigan off-balance on defense

One of the biggest keys for the Huskers offense is to not be in predictable downs and distances. NU needs to have this Wolverine defense off-balance and not knowing what's coming. If they get predictable, this could be a very long day.

KEY 4: Defensive physicality

Michigan's offense is going to test the manhood of the Blackshirts. They are going to come at the Huskers with tight ends, fullbacks and a physical running style they haven't seen all season. They need to be up to this challenge.

KEY 5: Coming out swinging

Nebraska needs to make this a fight. They have to come out of the gates swinging early, and not be intimidated by Michigan's physicality on offense and defense. This is a big early moment in the coaching tenure of Scott Frost at Nebraska how his team responds being a decisive underdog with a 0-2 record.


EXPERT TAKE: Nebraska at Michigan 

Sean Callahan - HuskerOnline Publisher

The Huskers will put up a fight in Ann Arbor on Saturday. Adrian Martinez will make this team look a lot different. This game will go into the fourth quarter, but Michigan will pull away with a late score.

Michigan 24, Nebraska 13

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Robin Washut - HuskerOnline Senior Writer

There are just too many problems Nebraska needs to solve right now to think it’s ready to go on the road for the first time and knock off a top-20 team in its Big Ten opener. Adrian Martinez could keep it close if he plays, but even he won’t be able to keep Nebraska from falling to 0-3 for the first time since 1953 (0-3-1). ***That all being said, based on how terrible my predictions have been this year, I’ve essentially guaranteed that Nebraska will win. You’re welcome.***

Michigan 38, Nebraska 17

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Nate Clouse - HuskerOnline Lead Recruiting Analyst

I see Adrian Martinez playing for Nebraska which makes the Huskers a much more dangerous team on offense. I think we’ll see a much cleaner game played by NU in all phases, but a late touchdown connection between Shea Patterson and Donovan Peoples-Jones is the difference in the game as the Huskers lose another heartbreaker.

Michigan 28, Nebraska 21

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Mike'l Severe - Omaha World Herald Bottom Line

Michigan is not a great team especially on offense but I think they will give Martinez or Bunch a real difficult time with their base front and plus pressure on defense. I think Nebraska can have some success with boot action and other misdirection, UM is way too aggressive at times. Watch for Michigan punt block, they really come after you. I see a close game into the 3rd quarter, but a late score by Peoples-Jones or Gentry the TE for Michigan will help them pull away.

Michigan 33, Nebraska 17

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Andy Kendeigh - KETV Channel 7 Sports Director

Of the 44 pages of news and notes from the University of Michigan this week, the stat that jumps off the page can be found is on page 6. Under Jim Harbaugh, Michigan is 16-0 when a wolverine gains at least 100 yards rushing and is 25-2 when it outrushes its opponent. Can Nebraska stop the run? I think it's a tall task at the Big House. The Huskers play better than it did a week ago but Michigan is much better than Troy.

Michigan 24, Nebraska 21

HuskerOnline Week 4 Score Predictions 
Week 4 Sean Callahan Robin Washut Nate Clouse Mike'l Severe Andy Kendeigh 

Nebraska at Michigan

24-13

Michigan

38-17

Michigan

28-21

Michigan

33-17

Michigan

24-21

Michigan

Wisconsin at Iowa

19-17

Wisconsin

28-27

Iowa

28-24

Wisconsin

17-14

Iowa

10-9

Iowa

Minnesota at Maryland

31-27

Minnesota

34-29

Minnesota

24-20

Minnesota

24-21

Maryland

27-21 Maryland

MSU at Indiana

34-24

MSU

21-20

MSU

31-21

MSU

26-20

MSU

30-27

MSU

BC at Purdue

34-31

BC

41-38

Purdue

35-31

BC

31-27

BC

31-27

Purdue

Stanford at Oregon

27-23

Stanford

28-14

Stanford

31-27

Stanford

27-24

Oregon

31-28

Stanford

HuskerOnline Score Prediction Standings 
Expert Picker Straight Up vs. the Spread  Cumulative Total 

Mike'l Severe

OWH Bottom Line

10-7

10-6

20

Andy Kendeigh

KETV- ABC Omaha

11-6

7-9

18

Nate Clouse

HuskerOnline

7-10

6-10

13

Sean Callahan

HuskerOnline

6-11

6-10

12

Robin Washut

HuskerOnline

6-11

2-14

8