Observations on the loss to Nebraska, 13-17
Nebraska converted three red zones for 17 points; Michigan gained two red zones for 10 points. The Wolverines lost the game by only scoring 3 points off two Cornhusker turnovers in the second half where they gained possession at the 26 and the 40. Nebraska deserved to win; they played tougher, and with more poise, confidence and composure.
Offense could only muster 13 first downs (zero rushing), 175 net yards, in 63 offensive plays with -21 yards in net rushing; their 5 minute time of possession advantage and +2 in turnovers gained no advantage. Devin Gardner was 18 of 27 for 196 yards and 1 TD to Devin Funchess; he was sacked 7 times just like last week against the Spartans. Fitz Toussaint and Derrick Green combined for 17 yards in 17 carries. We were forced into 4 "three and outs" and 6 punts. We fumbled twice, and recovered both. This team is on its way to setting a new Michigan record for negative plays in a season; we had 15 negative plays in our 63 total.
Defense gave the Cornhuskers 273 yards in 66 plays with 15 first downs, and were 7 of 17 in 3rd and 4th down conversions. Ameer Abdullah had 27 carries for 107 yards and a TD plus caught a 5 yard pass on a pitch play for the game winner. Armstrong and Kellogg combined for 12 of 23 for 145 yards. Quincy Enunwa caught 7 passes for 69 yards. The final drive began with 8:08 on the clock after we took a 12-10 lead, and NEbraska came back with a 14 play drive with 2:03 to go with the winning TD; our defense simply couldn't stop them or hold them to a field goal when this is what our team needed. Cameron Gordon and James Ross led the defense with 8 tackles each.
Gibbons hit both field goals. Wile had a 69 yard punt to the 3 yard line, but offense couldn't gain one first down after starting at the Nebraska 42 with 2 minutes to go in the first half. Punt team recovers a fumble at the 26 by Norfleet, but offense couldn't do much with it except Gibbons field goal.
It was a poor effort by both the offense and the defense, and it is pretty obvious that the team's confidence is at an all-time low. I don't see this team winning another game this season; we will end up tied with Northwestern for last place in our division. I think we go 6-6 with losses to Northwestern and Iowa on the road, and Ohio State at home. It will be our first Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl against a MAC opponent like Buffalo or possibly the Heart of Dallas Bowl against a Conference USA opponent like Tulane.
Brady Hoke Press Conference on November 4