Huskers dispose of Michigan, claim top spot in the Legends

Quarterback Taylor Martinez runs the ball on Saturday against the Michigan Wolverines at Memorial Stadium. Martinez rushed for 58 yards on 14 carries, including a 29-yarder. Photo by Kat Buchanan.

Story by Dean D’Angelo, NewsNetNebraska

Nebraska finally managed to string two good conference performances together, disposing of No. 22 Michigan 23-9 in the Wolverines’ first visit to Memorial stadium since 1911.

In front of the second largest home crowd of 86,160 at Memorial Stadium, Huskers quarterback Taylor Martinez managed to find Kenny Bell on the end of a 32-yard pass for the first touchdown of the game early in the second.

Martinez finished the night completing 14 of 24 passes for 166 yards.

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson made an early exit with an elbow injury late in the second quarter.

After the game, Huskers coach Bo Pelini said his team “did a good job containing them,” but admitted that there were some “missed opportunities.”

“We left some points out there tonight,” Pelini said, but praised his team’s ability to execute. “Execution is not about doing anything magical, it’s about doing your job.”

The Huskers defensive line each received blackshirts after the game, something Pelini believes his players deserved after tonight’s performance.

Defensive end Eric Martin and cornerback Ciante Evans celebrate after forcing Michigan to punt. The Huskers gave up 188 yards to the Wolverines. Photo by Kat Buchanan.

“They didn’t think they had earned them yet,” Pelini said speaking about the inconsistent season to date.

“I think they have earned them now.”

Replacement Michigan quarterback Russell Bellomy threw three interceptions and was sacked twice as Michigan, unable to score a touchdown all night, gave up its lead in the Big 10’s Legends division.

Bell, who recovered after taking a heavy hit early in the third, voiced his disapproval of the targeting rule after the game, where Nebraska was twice flagged for hits to the head of defenseless Michigan receivers.

“Obviously I don’t want to be hit like that, but it’s sad to see football dying,” Bell said. “In one sense I respect (officials) for trying to protect the players, but in another sense they are just killing our sport.”

Nebraska sealed the victory when Ameer Abdullah, who had a game high 109 rushing yards, scored early in the fourth quarter, and ran out the clock with a couple first downs in the final minutes..

The Huskers now sit on top of the Big 10 Legends division, sharing a 3-1 record with Michigan. The Huskers plays Michigan State at 2:30 next week in Lansing.

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