BY THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Published October 27, 2012
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The Cornhusker fans came out in droves on Saturday, geared up for a primetime matchup between Michigan and Nebraska. The offenses didn’t appear quite as ready as the fans, though, and there was little ball movement from both teams in the first quarter.
The only big play of the quarter came on a 55-yard strike from senior quarterback Denard Robinson to fifth-year senior Roy Roundtree, but upon review, the pass was ruled incomplete. Robinson still marched the Wolverines down into Cornhusker territory, setting up a 53-yard field goal, but sophomore placekicker Matt Wile was well short on the kick.
Nebraska had the ball deep in its own territory at the end of the quarter, still with no score.
The Cornhuskers wound up striking first on that same drive. Junior quarterback Taylor Martinez hit his top receiver Kenny Bell, who was wide open on the blown coverage, 32 yards down the right sideline for the score.
On the following drive, Michigan also got on the board. Robinson led a sustained drive down to the Nebraska 35-yard line. And this time Brendan Gibbons was given the opportunity from 52 yards out, and his field goal attempt was good.
Down 7-3, the Wolverine defense held strong on the next drive and forced a quick three-and-out. And on the following drive, Robinson came out firing. He hit Roundtree 32 yards down the middle of the field on a post route on the very first play.
On a quarterback scramble, Robinson made his way down the left sideline into the Nebraska red zone, but instead of running out of bounds, he fought for an extra yard and hurt got hurt. Redshirt freshman quarterback Russell Bellomy entered the game to complete the drive, but he couldn’t get much done. Gibbons came on for the field goal, pulling the Wolverines within one point with two and a half minutes left in the half.
The Michigan defense forced a fumble with a little less than a minute left to play and recovered the ball, and Bellomy came onto the field to close out the half. He couldn’t make anything out of it, and he was sacked on the last play of the half.
All eyes were on the Michigan sideline when the Wolverines emerged from the tunnel after halftime. Robinson led the team onto the field, but it was Bellomy stayed at starter.
On Nebraska’s opening drive, Martinez rolled left and had his pass swatted by sophomore linebacker Desmond Morgan and deflected into the arms of freshman defensive end Mario Ojemudia for an interception.
Bellomy and the offense took the field, but on the third play of the drive Bellomy’s pass to senior running back Vincent Smith ricocheted off Smith and into the air, where Nebraska linebacker P.J. Smith picked it off and sprinted the other way.
Smith motored down the left sideline until Bellomy dove and tripped him up just inside the five-yard line. The Michigan defense held, with its back to the goal line, and the Cornhuskers settled for a 19-yard field goal and a 10-6 lead.
After a quick three-and-out, the Wolverines punted. With the aid of a 15-yard personal foul from linebacker Brandin Hawthorne, the Cornhuskers lined up with good field position at the Michigan 39.
Four plays and five yards gained later, Nebraska kicker Brett Maher drilled a 51-yard field goal to extend the lead to 13-6 with 8:41 left in the third quarter.
Bellomy and the offense went three-and-out once again, pushing his statistics to 0-for-9 with an interception on the afternoon. After the punt, Nebraska started another push into Michigan territory.
On a first-down pass from the 31-yard line, redshirt senior cornerback J.T. Floyd interfered with the wide receiver to give Nebraska a first down inside the Michigan 10.
The drive stalled and Maher poked through a 31-yard field goal to make the score 16-6 in Nebraska’s favor.
On the brink of another three-and-out, the offense was added by a barrage of Nebraska flags.