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November 8, 2013

Staff Predictions: Michigan vs. Nebraska

Head coach Bo Pelini made more friends in Nebraska recently when disparaging comments he made about Cornhuskers fans were leaked. He covered his tracks about as well as his defensive backs cover wide receivers.

Not very well.

Former 'Huskers' quarterback Tommie Frazier has taken to Twitter to demand better (again), most recently after the loss at Minnesota two weeks ago. Fans are becoming impatient.

Somehow, Nebraska is 3-1 in Big Ten play following a Hail Mary victory over Northwestern last week in Lincoln. Make no mistake, though - this is not a very good football team.

"Scott Frost couldn't fix the problems we have at quarterback, and Tommie Frazier sure as hell couldn't," Pelini - well, didn't really say, but wouldn't it have been great if he did? Then Pelini would have gotten the hate mail we received from Frost's mother (1968 Olympian Carol Frost - did we tell you she was a 1968 Olympian?) sent us after poking fun at her son prior to the 2005 Alamo Bowl.

Taylor Martinez won't play against the Wolverines, leaving a few quarterbacks who throw the football with similar form to Mrs. Frost's discus throws in the 1968 Olympics.

Congrats to last week's winner. This week's receives a 1968 Olympic program signed by Carol Frost.

The picks:

Chris Balas: Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah said he couldn't wait to get to Ann Arbor to "shut the fans up." He'll probably get an assist from the students, who haven't done their part to create a great home environment since the Notre Dame game.

Regardless, we'll see what Michigan is made of this week. A convincing win over a banged up team is just what the Wolverines need right now. With apologies for last week's "I didn't really believe it" pick:

Michigan 31, Nebraska 20


John Borton: Michigan enters the Nebraska game with two black eyes, while the Cornhuskers sport a goofy Hail Mary grin and a M*A*S*H* unit injury list. It won't be easy, but the Wolverines get healthy at home.

Michigan 35, Nebraska 27


Michael Spath: Both teams enter this game hurting. Nebraska is beaten up physically, with QB Taylor Martinez out and the potential for three more offensive starters to miss the game with injuries. Michigan is beaten up mentally and emotionally, and both teams will have to prove they can overcome that which ails them. U-M has a better chance to do so because Nebraska's defense is a sieve and will give the Wolverines' offense opportunities to regain its confidence.

Michigan 35, Nebraska 24


Andy Reid: ESPN's Jason Whitlock says this Michigan team has low character, but character is not defined by taking a beating, like the one Michigan State systematically administered to this team last weekend. "Character" has much more to do with how you respond, how you get up off the mat, treat your wounds and coming on swinging in the next bout.

Will the Wolverines lay down? Feel sorry for themselves and pack it in?

No. Not this team, not these kids. They have too much pride in themselves and in Michigan to roll over and die just because of a few losses.

Michigan 35, Nebraska 28


Tim Sullivan: Michigan's not as bad as the vibe among fans seems to be - and the same might be said for Nebraska. Huskers fans are even lower on their team, and without Taylor Martinez, that may be with good reason. The porous Nebraska D should be a problem against Michigan (Shilique Calhoun ain't walkin' through that door). Michigan's solid defense should be able to stymie a Martinez-less attack and do enough to win.

Michigan 31, Nebraska 21


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