Underdog Huskers set to face toughest challenge of season at Michigan

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Huskers have shot themselves in the foot the last couple of games thanks to a lackluster offense.

Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple spoke Wednesday about Nebraska’s backup quarterbacks, Logan Smothers and Chubba Purdy.

“I see a little more confidence in those guys from playing last week,” he said. “Just handling things better, so that’s promising.”

Both quarterbacks took snaps against Minnesota, with Purdy taking the most before being taken out toward the end of the game.

Smothers almost mounted a comeback against the Golden Gophers but ultimately failed to secure the win.

Interim head coach Mickey Joseph has said he would make a decision on starter Casey Thompson on Thursday.

SEE ALSO: Mickey Joseph unsure who will start at QB for Huskers against Michigan

Whipple did say Thompson is “mentally there” and has been taking part in meetings, while also doing “some stuff.”

So there’s a possibility that Smothers or Purdy could start against No. 3 Michigan on Saturday.

Whipple said the quarterbacks had their best week and have been more consistent throughout this week of practice.

He believes that Purdy does some things better in one area, while Smothers may exceed in a different area.

Whipple’s message to the quarterbacks: “It’s a marriage.”

“I don’t hug my wife all the time, and I don’t hug those guys all the time,” he said. “You know, sometimes you gotta get a message across.”

The quarterbacks weren’t the only ones at fault in the loss to Minnesota, as Whipple said dropped balls in crucial situations hurt the team.

“If we do that, we don’t have a chance,” he said. “But if we execute and operate at a good level, then we’ll have a chance to see where this thing goes.”

At the end of the day, Whipple said, it’s about scoring points, which the Huskers have faltered at in their last two games.

“I would have been satisfied if we won 21-20, or you know, I don’t really care if we win 3-2,” he said.

And Nebraska will have to score a lot of points in Ann Arbor, as the Huskers are 31-point underdogs, according to ESPN.

But Whipple said he never looks at the odds.

“I lost $60 when I was a freshman at Brown,” he said. “I never gambled since.”

The spread also comes down to the Husker defense, which will be facing one of the best offenses in the country.

And once again, Nebraska will be up against a top-ranked running back: Blake Corum.

This season, the Wolverine has put up 1,187 yards with 16 touchdowns.

“Obviously, we have our hands full,” defensive coordinator Bill Busch said. “We’re kind of used to that now, seems like every week that we have our hands full with someone in that nature right there.”

Nebraska is going to be without one of its defensive leaders, Myles Farmer, who was suspended after being cited on suspicion of driving under the influence on Sunday.

“Losing him is a big, big piece of us; it’s going to hurt us,” Busch said. “On that note, the young man made a mistake.”

Michigan is just behind Ohio State when it comes to offensive stats.

The Wolverines have scored an average of 42.2 points per game, thanks to a total of 46 touchdowns from the offense.

Michigan remains undefeated and is coming off a 52-17 blowout against Rutgers last weekend.

“I have a lot of respect for their head coach and how he’s built his team and how they handle things,” Busch said.

Nebraska will face the Wolverines at 2:30 p.m. on Channel 8.

Categories: Husker Sports, Sports