ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Mickey Joseph, Nebraska‘s interim head coach, had an unenviable position on Saturday.
While the Huskers avoided Ohio State this year, they had to take on No. 3 Michigan, and got nothing going all game long. While the Wolverines weren’t making big, explosive plays, they leaned into their workmanlike mentality, grinding the game out in dominant fashion to win, 34-3.
After the game, Joseph noted that the maize and blue were simply superior.
“Well, first of all, I want to take my hat off coach Harbaugh and his football team,” Joseph said. “They’re a well-coached football team, and they’re a talented football team. And they played a really good game tonight.”
But what made Michigan so good against Nebraska? It all had to do with what the Wolverines were able to do in the trenches.
“They’re really good on the O-line and the defensive line. That’s what really good Big Ten teams look like,” Joseph said. “With the O-line and D-line, they move people and they get pushed back on defense. Was a really good football team.”
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Nebraska entered the game with the No. 75 rushing offense in the country, but has shown the ability to run in recent weeks. It accumulated 163 yards against Oklahoma, 122 against Purdue and 146 against Minnesota, but the Wolverines held the Huskers to just 75 yards on the ground.
Joseph noted that Michigan collapses opened holes in the offensive front about as quickly as anybody.
“I thought it was better, I thought he was better but it wasn’t much room in there,” Joseph said. “We wasn’t getting much push off the line of scrimmage so just telling our backs once you get it, you see it, you gotta go because it’s not going to stay open very long. The credit to Michigan.”
Ultimately, Michigan was too much for Nebraska.
“They good in everything that they do, so it was a really solid football team,” Joseph said. “Teams that I’ve been on, really good teams, they would have hung in there. I don’t know if they would’ve won, but they would have hung in there.”
Up next, Michigan football hosts Illinois, which just lost to Purdue. After that awaits the big showdown with rival Ohio State.