Flurries started falling in Ann Arbor around noon Eastern time, well before the Nebraska football team walked off the bus at Michigan Stadium. Snow dissipated shortly, then started a steady fall just over 80 minutes before the scheduled 3:30 p.m kickoff local time.
It’s ideal Big Ten weather for Saturday’s matchup between two of college football’s premiere programs. Nebraska and Michigan are two of only eight school with 900 all-time wins (Michigan with 985, first, and Nebraska with 911, eighth). They combine for 16 National Championships. But Saturday’s kickoff isn’t billed as the meeting of two titan teams.
Nebraska comes in the significant underdog with an interim head coach while the Wolverines are No. 3 in the country with aims on a repeat Big Ten Championship and spot in the College Football Playoff. Today’s game is believed to be the largest spread in Nebraska’s history, which was designated between 31- and 32-point underdogs depending on various sports books. Interim defensive coordinator Bill Busch said earlier this week he didn’t feel the need to stir players up for the game. Interim head coach Mickey Joseph said Saturday’s game provided the players and opportunity to play on a grand stage.
>> Joseph ruled Nebraska’s No. 1 quarterback Casey Thompson out of today’s game on Thursday. Joseph said the starting job, between Chubba Purdy and Logan Smothers, would be revealed at game time.
>> Quarterbacks and receivers navigated the falling snow in warmups, as some struggled to corral passes through the precipitation. Support staff stood by quarterbacks with towels. In addition to Purdy, Matt Masker and Jarrett Synek threw to receivers. Masker has previously traveled to away games but Synek, the former Hastings Tiger, is a new addition. Smothers did throw with the other quarterbacks during the initial warmup period but came out later.
>> Starting safety Myles Farmer is suspended for today’s game. Former walk-on Phalen Sanford is expected to start in his place but expect DeShon Singleton to see increased game time as well.
>> This is the 12th game between the two programs. Michigan holds a 6-4-1 advantage. This includes a 4-2 record in Ann Arbor, the most recent coming in 2018 with a 56-10 win. The Wolverines are also 3-2 against Nebraska since the Huskers joined the Big Ten.
>> Saturday’s kickoff provides Nebraska an opportunity to end the 20-game losing streak to ranked opponents. Nebraska hasn’t beat a ranked team since a 35-32 win over No. 22 Oregon in 2016. At No. 3, Michigan is the highest-ranked opponent Nebraska has faced since Oklahoma last season.
>> Nebraska punter Brian Buschini was again one of the first ones warming up with his taped ankle. He handled snaps well as the snow continued falling and kicked into the elements.
>> Linebacker Luke Reimer currently sits No. 23 in the program’s all-time tackles list with 226. Reimer could move up to No. 19 with 13 tackles today, moving ahead of Wayne Meylan and just behind Corey McKeon with 240.
>> Today’s game will feature a tribute to veterans in observance of Veterans Day yesterday. That includes a pre-game flyover conducted by the U.S Navy.
>> Rapper Flava Flav roamed the sidelines with a blue Michigan jacket. Among his many pieces of jewelry was a large gold-encrusted clock chain.