ANN ARBOR (AP) – Nebraska has kept itself in the Big Ten title chase.
Ron Kellogg III’s 49-yard desperation heave was caught off a tip by Jordan Westerkamp, lifting the Cornhuskers to a 27-24 win over Northwestern on the last play of last week’s game.
Nebraska’s fortunate break kept its chances alive of advancing to the championship game next month if it beats Michigan on Saturday at the Big House and defeats Legends Division-leading Michigan State at home next week.
The Wolverines, meanwhile, are hoping to bounce back from a humiliating loss to rival Michigan State that forced them to win the rest of their games and get some help to have a shot at winning their first Big Ten title since 2004.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Nebraska, coming off its Hail Mary victory over Northwestern, needs a win here to set up a showdown with Michigan State next week for a share of first place and the tie-breaker in the Big Ten Legends Division. The Wolverines’ hopes for winning the division took a major hit with last week’s loss to the Spartans, and now might be the time to start jockeying for bowl position.
Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah vs. Michigan rush defense: The Big Ten’s leading rusher already is over 1,000 yards and has gone for 100 in all but one game. The Wolverines are 14th nationally against the run and didn’t allow a back to top 100 yards until last week, when Jeremy Langford went for 120.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Nebraska: QB Tommy Armstrong has thrown six interceptions in his past two games and was replaced by Ron Kellogg III for the Huskers’ game-winning, Hail Mary drive against Northwestern. Let’s see how the redshirt freshman bounces back.
Michigan: TE Devin Funchess is a tough matchup for the Huskers. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound sophomore is averaging a team-high 19.2 yards on his 29 catches.
FACTS & FIGURES:
Nebraska has overcome double-digit deficits to win five Big Ten games the past two seasons … CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste has been practicing some at wide receiver this week because of injuries at the position. Jean-Baptiste started his Nebraska career as a receiver … Huskers have scored a touchdown on opening drive in all four of Armstrong’s starts …
The Wolverines’ 19 straight wins at Michigan Stadium is the nation’s longest active home winning streak … Michigan WR Jeremy Gallon has at least one catch in 34 straight games. Braylon Edwards holds the record of 38 in a row … Michigan CB Blake Countess is first in the Big Ten with four interceptions.
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