It was a hard-fought game on both sides of the line of scrimmage, no matter who had the ball, but Michigan remained undefeated while Nebraska fell 3-4.
After the game, Huskers head coach Scott Frost explained that he felt that things would be different for his team on Saturday night, but it just didn’t go Nebraska’s way. He somewhat questioned whether or not Adrian Martinez should have had had the whistle blown due to forward progress being stopped on his fumble, but still, he gave Michigan credit for the win.
“They’re a damn good football team, I give them a lot of credit — so are we,” Frost said. “I told the boys before the game, usually those games come down to one or two plays. You know, the thing I really love, we took the field on that drive, I think everybody thought we were gonna win this game. It wasn’t ‘what’s gonna go wrong? Let’s make sure they don’t have time to go in.’ We were gonna go in and win the game. Got a first down to start it. God, Adrian’s a warrior. He’s an unbelievable player. I told the boys it’s because — I don’t know if his momentum was stopped or not, but we can’t expect to get those breaks, we’ve gotta make them.”
Of any part that gave Nebraska fits, Frost credits the Michigan run defense, led by the linebackers. While he later mentioned that the Wolverines under Mike Macdonald were doing some things to take away the edges for Martinez The Huskers had their second-lowest rushing output in 2021 with 140 yards and Martinez had his third-lowest with 38.
“We wanted to establish the run game — we tried, they’re really good against the run,” Frost said. “Their linebackers were fitting fast, I thought they had a good game plan for a lot of the stuff that we did. We shot ourselves in the foot in one drive where we could’ve got points with a penalty. Looking back, I was trying to win the game. I want to keep the kids aggressive and I want to be aggressive, but probably would’ve kicked the field goal, knowing how the whole thing ended. But the guys kept battling. I think we opened it up for them a little bit and guys made plays.”
Ultimately, it was particularly heartbreaking for Frost because, unlike in other games where there was a sense of foreboding, he never got that against Michigan. Instead, the Wolverines just came in and took it.
“I thought tonight was the night,” Frost said. “In games past, when we’ve gotten ahead, I’ve gotten this sense that everybody was thinking what’s gonna go wrong, and I didn’t get that sense at all tonight.”