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NU-Michigan predictions and random over/unders: The Journal Star staffers make their picks

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Northwestern vs. Nebraska, 10.2

Nebraska's Jaquez Yant lies outside the end zone after being run out of bounds in by Northwestern in the first quarter Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Michigan is coming to town, and they're kicking on the lights for this one.

Ahead of Nebraska is an opportunity to knock off a marquee program that is off to a 5-0 start. Jim Harbaugh will be making his first appearance at Memorial Stadium, and the crowd will be lit.

That much we know. How will the game play out? That we don't know.

But we're going to give it our best shot.

If Nebraska had a do-over, it would be (Illinois, Oklahoma or Michigan State) …

Chris Basnett (Husker writer): Has to be Illinois. The Illini are lousy, and that game is going to hang over anything NU does the rest of the season.

Parker Gabriel (Husker beat writer): Illinois.

Clark Grell (Sports editor): Illinois. Think about it. If the Huskers were 4-2, with two losses by a combined 10 points to ranked foes, the narrative in Big Ten country and around the nation would be much different.

Nate Head (Assistant/online sports editor): Illinois. The others stung, sure, but this loss looks worse every week.

Steven M. Sipple (Columnist): Michigan State. Nebraska should be 2-1 in the Big Ten, nipping at Iowa's heels in the division.

Parker Gabriel delivers the four most interesting things from head football coach Scott Frost's post-practice press conference on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021.

Rahmir Johnson or Jaquez Yant. Who gets more carries?

Basnett: Yant. The Huskers will need his physicality against a tough Michigan defense.

Gabriel: Johnson.

Grell: Johnson. He's already had key roles in big games at Oklahoma and Michigan State.

Head: Yant. He passed the test last week, and should get the rock more this time.

Sipple: Johnson. This is no game to test whether newbies are for real.

Nebraska’s first touchdown?

Basnett: Adrian Martinez gets another rushing touchdown late in the first quarter.

Gabriel: Martinez, 12:50 mark of the second quarter.

Grell: Big play here. Martinez goes deep to Samori Toure, early second quarter.

Head: Let's say Martinez rushes one in on NU's first drive.

Sipple: Martinez. Roars in from 6 with 3:40 left in the first quarter.

Parker Gabriel discusses the importance of the run game in Nebraska's game against Michigan on Saturday night.

Michigan’s total rushing yards will be …

Basnett: We’ll go with 115. Rutgers and Wisconsin have provided a blueprint in how to slow the ground game down.

Gabriel: 141.

Grell: 215. Game will be close and both teams will have success on the ground.

Head: 97.

Sipple: 109. Michigan will carry it 40 times for 109 yards.

Winner and final score?

Basnett: Michigan wins a close one, 27-24.

Gabriel: Michigan, 24-21.

Grell: Michigan, 27-20.

Head: Nebraska, 24-20.

Sipple: Nebraska, 24-21.

Over/unders

Nebraska rushing attempts: 34

Basnett: Over.

Gabriel: Over.

Grell: Over.

Head: Over.

Sipple: It'll be well over.

Michigan sacks: 3

Basnett: Under.

Gabriel: Over.

Grell: Push.

Head: Under.

Sipple: Over.

Combined turnovers for both teams: 2

Basnett: Over.

Gabriel: Push.

Grell: Under.

Head: Over.

Sipple: Over.

Adrian Martinez passing pct.: 67%

Basnett: Under.

Gabriel: Under.

Grell: Over.

Head: Over.

Sipple: Over.

Jim Harbaugh camera shots: 75

Basnett: Waaaay over.

Grell: Over (by halftime).

Gabriel: Over.

Head: Over.

Sipple: Over (and Scott Frost will be just fine with that).

 

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