Recap: Michigan survives scare at Nebraska, 32-29

Nolan Bianchi
The Detroit News

They didn't make it look easy, but the Michigan Wolverines hung after a wild ride in Lincoln on Saturday night to escape with a 32-29 win at Nebraska.

Michigan's Brad Hawkins forced a fumble of Adrian Martinez with 1:45 to go in a tie game to give Jake Moody a chance to hit the winning 39-yard field goal.

Final leaders


UM - Cade McNamara: 22/38, 255 yds., INT

NU - Adrian Martinez: 18/28, 291 yds., 3 TD, INT


UM - Hassan Haskins: 21 atts., 123 yds., 2 TD

NU - Rahmir Johnson: 17 atts., 67 yds.


UM - Daylen Baldwin: 6 recs., 64 yds.

NU - Rahmir Johnson: 6 recs., 105 yds., TD

Nebraska's Omar Manning (5) catches a pass as Michigan's Brad Hawkins (2) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Lincoln, Neb.

Second half

Michigan gets big stop to secure road win over Nebraska

Nebraska takes over at the 25, trailing 32-29 with 1:24 to go and no timeouts.

Adrian Martinez picks up 25 yards on his first throw, setting up first-and-10 at the 50.

Martinez's next throw two throws are incomplete. He connects on a screen to Rahmir Johnson on third down, but Gemon Green blows it up for no gain.

Nebraska hurries to the line, lets one fly, and it's broken up by Dax Hill. Hill is flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play, but it's still going to be Michigan ball.

The Wolverines run out the clock to secure the win.

FINAL: Michigan 32, Nebraska 29 

Michigan takes 32-29 lead with 1:24 left

Nebraska takes over at the 25 after a touchback.

Adrian Martinez completes a 7-yard pass, Rahmir Johnson runs for 2. Martinez is stripped by Brad Hawkins after picking up the first down, and Hawkins recovers it for the Wolverines. He returns it to the Nebraska 18.

Michigan 29, Nebraska 29 (1:45 4th)

Hassan Haskins rushes for 4 yards. 

Timeout #1 Nebraska (1:39 4th)

Blake Corum is stopped on the next play for 1 yard.

Timeout #2 Nebraska (1:32 4th)

J.J. McCarthy is in on third down, and he keeps the read option but is dropped for a loss of 6.

Jake Moody makes a 39-yard field goal to give Michigan a lead.

Michigan 32, Nebraska 29 (1:28 4th)

Michigan ties game at 29 with 3:00 left in game

Michigan takes over at its own 25 after the Nebraska touchdown. The Wolverines trail 29-26.

Hassan Haskins rushes for 7 yard on first down, then hits a hole and hurdles a defender on his way to a 50-yard gain on second down, and that'll give Michigan first-and-10 at the Nebraska 25.

Blake Corum is stuffed for a yard. Cade McNamara's second-down throw to the end zone is short and broken up. Erick All catches an 11-yard pass to move the chains, first-and-10 at the 13.

Corum rushes for 3, and Haskins 1. It's third-and-6, turned third-and-11 after a false start. McNamara's fade throw is nowhere near a completion.

Jake Moody hits the field goal, and we're all tied up.

Michigan 29, Nebraska 29 (3:11 4th)

Nebraska takes 29-26 lead in fourth

Nebraska takes over at the 25, trailing 26-22, with 11:21 to go in the game.

Zavier Betts is dropped for a loss of 1, but Adrian Martinez comes up throwing on the next play; it goes right through the hands of Michigan's Gemon Green and into the hands of Oliver Martin for a 30-yard gain. 

Martinez's next pass is caught, but for a loss of 2, but he completes to Rahmir Johnson on second down for a gain of 24 that's to the Michigan 24.

Austin Allen hauls in a 13-yard throw on the next play. 

Johnson rushes for 4 on first down, 2 on second down. Martinez keeps on third down and gets into the end zone for a score.

Michigan 26, Nebraska 22 (7:56 4th)

Michigan regains lead on Corum touchdown

Michigan gets it at the 25, trailing for the first time this game, with 0:52 left in the third.

Blake Corum's rushes of 7 and 3 yards will give Michigan a new set of downs when the fourth quarter begins.

END 4TH: Nebraska 22, Michigan 19

Corum rushes for 2 yards on first down.

Timeout #1 Michigan (14:22 4th)

Cade McNamara has Daylen Baldwin wide open on the next play, but again, he overthrows him. The dump-off to Erick All on third down moves the chains with a 14-yard gain.

Nebraska jumps offsides before the first-down play, and that'll make it first-and-5. Hassan Haskins rushes for 3, then 2, to move the chains and bring up first-and-10 at the Nebraska 39.

After a 4-yard completion, J.J. McCarthy enters the game and picks up the first down with his feet, a gain of 6.

Corum hits a hole on the next handoff and he's gone for a 29-yard rushing touchdown.

Michigan 26, Nebraska 22 (11:21 4th)

Nebraska forces interception, takes lead on next play

Michigan gets it back at the 20, leading 19-14.

J.J. McCarthy enters to throw an incompletion to Daylen Baldwin. Then Cade McNamara enters to throw an incompletion to Daylen Baldwin. Then McNamara throws an interception.

It'll be Nebraska ball at the 13.

Michigan 19, Nebraska 14 (0:59 3rd)

Nebraska scores on the next play to take the lead, then converts the two-point conversion on a Martinez scramble.

Nebraska 22, Michigan 19 (0:52 3rd)

Nebraska cuts into Michigan lead with 5-play drive

Nebraska takes over at its own 25, trailing 19-7, with 3:36 to go in the third.

After a 4-yard run, Adrian Martinez runs for 7, then hands to Samori Toure for 16 to make it first-and-10 at the Michigan 48.

Rahmir Johnson rushes for 7, then gets open down the sideline for a 41-yard touchdown reception down the sideline.

Michigan 19, Nebraska 14 (1:24 3rd)

Michigan extends lead on Haskins touchdown

Michigan takes over at its own 9, leading 13-7 with 8:07 to go in the third.

Cade McNamara's first-down pass to Hassan Haskins is swatted by a defensive lineman. He hits Cornelius Johnson on the next one for a gain of 23 to the Michigan 32.

Blake Corum rushes for a gain of 4 on first down. Donovan Edwards gets 3 more on second down. Hassan Haskins bullies his way into a third-down conversion with a gain of 3.

Daylen Baldwin catches a 3-yard pass on the next play. Hassan Haskins rushes for 7 to move the chains, as the Wolverines are into Nebraska territory.

Daylen Baldwin hauls in a 10-yard pass, and then gets open for a 35-yard connection that puts Michigan at the Nebraska 3. 

Haskins finishes the drive with a 3-yard run up the middle.

Michigan is going for a two-point conversion, and they don't get it on the end-zone fade.

Michigan 19, Nebraska 7 (3:36 3rd)

Michigan defense prevents Nebraska from taking lead

Nebraska takes over at the 10, trailing 13-7.

Adrian Martinez fires complete on first down for a gain of 14.

Jaquez Yant rushes for 8 on the next play and 1 yard on second down. Rahmir Johnson is stuffed on third down for no gain.

A.J. Henning muffs the punt; it's recovered via "joint possession," which will allow Michigan to keep the ball at its own 9.

Michigan 13, Nebraska 7 (8:54 3rd)

Michigan goes 3-and-out on first series of second half

Michigan takes over at the 25 after Nebraska's touchdown.

Hassan Haskins rushes for 2 yards. A 5-yard completion sets up third-and-3, but Blake Corum is stopped for 2. The Wolverines will punt.

Michigan 13, Nebraska 7 (10:45 3rd)

Nebraska scores quickly on first drive of half

Nebraska opens its second half series from the 25.

Adrian Martinez misses his first-down receiver, and then gets it to Rahmir Johnson for a 10-yard pickup on the next play.

Johnson rushes for 3. Omar Manning is dropped for a loss of 4 on the next play, but Martinez takes off on third down and picks up the yardage for a first down. It's first-and-10 at the Michigan 46 after the 20-yard gain.

Austin Allen catches a first-down pass and has nobody in front of him, and he'll run 46 yards to the end zone for a Nebraska touchdown.

Michigan 13, Nebraska 7 (12:49 3rd)

First half

First half leaders


UM - Cade McNamara: 13/23, 148 yds.

NU - Adrian Martinez: 5/11, 94 yds.


UM - Hassan Haskins: 11 atts., 41 yds., TD

NU - Rahmir Johnson: 2 recs., 50 yds.


UM - Mike Sainristil: 1 rec., 48 yds.

NU - Rahmir Johnson: 2 recs., 50 yds.

Michigan adds first touchdown of game to close first half

Michigan takes over at its own 24 with 1:37 to go in the half, leading 6-0.

Cade McNamara's first-down throw to Blake Corum is caught for 13 yards to the Michigan 37.

McNamara gets it to Cornelius Johnson for 4.

Timeout #1 Michigan (1:13 2nd)

McNamara throws to Corum for gains of 6 and 7 yards, moving into Nebraska territory.

Timeout #2 Michigan (0:53 2nd)

McNamara hits Daylen Baldwin for a 5-yard completion near the sideline. His next two passes are incomplete.

Corum runs on third down and gets all the way to the Nebraska 15 for a first down. A pass interference penalty makes it first-and-goal at the 3.

Timeout #2 Nebraska (0:20 2nd)

Haskins rushes into the end zone for a Michigan touchdown.

Michigan 13, Nebraska 0 (0:13 2nd)

Nebraska does not do anything of consequence.

END 2ND: Michigan 13, Nebraska 0 

Nebraska forced to punt after entering Michigan territory

Nebraska takes over at the 25.

Adrian Martinez throws incomplete on second down, is hit as he throws on second down. The play is initially ruled a fumble recovery for Michigan, but is then overturned after review. 

Then DJ Turner is nailed for pass interference, and it'll be first down, Nebraska, at the 40.

Levi Falck comes up with an 11-yard reception to move into Michigan territory.

Martinez's next two passes miss the mark, bringing up third-and-10. Martinez is sacked by David Ojabo, who forced the almost fumble earlier in the drive.

William Przystup's punt is fair caught at the 24.

Michigan 6, Nebraska 0 (1:13 2nd)

Michigan stumbles in red zone, takes 6-0 lead after volatile drive

Michigan takes over at its own 10.

Cade McNamara throws complete to Blake Corum for a gain of 9. Corum moves the sticks with a 5-yard run on the next play.

McNamara hits his man for 5 yards and a delay-of-game penalty on...Nebraska? Yes, Nebraska, makes it first-and-10 at the 34.

Hassan Haskins rushes for 3, and McNamara throws to Cornelius Johnson for 6. The Wolverines run to the line to get off a third-down play.

Here's what happens next: Haskins clearly rushes for a first down — by a full 2 yards. Michigan is flagged for holding. The flag is picked up, but the ball is spotted back where the play began on third-and-1. Jim Harbaugh is screaming at the officials to watch the replay and redo the spot. They don't. He's forced to call a timeout.

After review, they deem that Haskins got the yardage. They try to pin a timeout on Michigan, but Harbaugh is seen explaining that he was yelling 'Challenge! Challenge! Challenge! Challenge!' and officials ultimately change that ruling, too. A pitiful display from these Big Ten officials.

McNamara goes deep to a wide-open Mike Sainristil, who stretches out to make a pretty terrific catch at the Nebraska 6.

Daylen Baldwin can't hang onto the first-and-goal throw. Haskins is ruled to have scored on second down, but that's overturned, and it'll be third-and-goal. Haskins goes over the top this time, and he's ruled to be in again, but again it'll be reviewed.

Haskins gets in on third down after McNamara trips; but again, the play will be reviewed, as McNamara was actually down before handing the ball off.

Jake Moody puts home a field goal.

Michigan 6, Nebraska 0 (3:19 2nd)

Nebraska goes 3-and-out after Michigan field goal

Nebraska takes over at its own 25.

Rahmir Johnson runs for 3, then 4, as Adrian Martinez can't extend the drive on a third-down pass that falls incomplete.

William Przystup's punt is fielded by A.J. Henning for a loss of 5 to the Michigan 10.

Michigan 3, Nebraska 0 (8:37 2nd)

Michigan takes 3-0 lead in second quarter

Michigan takes over at the Nebraska 35 after the interception.

Hassan Haskins rushes for 5, then 6 to move the chains.

Haskins gets it again, this time for 3. In comes J.J. McCarthy to handoff to Blake Corum for a gain of 3. McCarthy stays in on third down, hands it off again for a gain of only 1.

Jake Moody hits a 35-yard field goal to go up 3.

Michigan 3, Nebraska 0 (9:52 2nd)

Michigan's Daxton Hill intercepts Martinez

Nebraska takes over at its own 6 in a 0-0 game.

Rahmir Johnson rushes for 3 yards to bring the first quarter to a close.

END 1ST: Michigan 0, Nebraska 0 

Johnson rushes for 1 yard on second down. Adrian Martinez moves the chains with a 9-yard completion to the 19.

Jaquez Yant rushes for 2 yards. An illegal formation penalty on Nebraska will back it up 5 yards. 

Timeout #1 Nebraska (12:54 2nd)

Daxton Hill tips a pass over the middle, then catches it as he falls to the turf for a Michigan interception. What a terrific catch.

Michigan 0, Nebraska 0 (12:47 2nd)

Michigan runs into trouble with passing game as another drive comes up empty

Blake Corum rushes for 5 yards on first down and is stopped for no gain on second down. Luke Schoonmaker is left wide open over the middle and Cade McNamara hits him for a gain of 24 to the 44 of Michigan.

Joel Honigford gets open for a 10-yard pickup on the next play to move the Wolverines into Nebraska territory at the 46.

Hassan Haskins rushes for 2. Another deep ball from McNamara is underthrown and falls incomplete, as he's then sacked on third down to end the drive.

Brad Robbins' punt is fair caught at the 6.

Michigan 0, Nebraska 0 (0:06 1st)

Michigan defense recovers from early penalty

First down, Nebraska, at the 35. It's a 0-0 game with 6:48 to go in the first.

Jaquez Yant rushes for 3 yards on first down. Michigan takes a pass interference penalty on the next play, and that'll give Nebraska a new set of downs at the 48.

Levi Falck picks up good yardage on the next first-down play, but it's called back for a personal foul. It'll be first-and-19.

A 4-yard run and a 7-yard completion brings up third-and-8. Adrian Martinez is flushed from the pocket and throws over the head of his intended receiver.

The ensuing punt goes out of the end zone.

Michigan 0, Nebraska 0 (4:29 1st)

Michigan passing game comes up empty on second series

Michigan takes over at its own 4 after the defensive stand.

Hassan Haskins rushes for 4 to give the Wolverines some breathing room. Cade McNamara delivers a strike to Daylen Baldwin for 7 yards and a new set of downs at the 15.

J.J. McCarthy comes in to take the snap, takes off, and he gets to the 26 for an 11-yard pickup. 

McNamara tries a deep shot to Cornelius Johnson downed the sideline, but it's defended extremely well — and almost intercepted. He goes over the middle to Erick All on second down, and that's broken up as well. The third-down throw doesn't make it past the line of scrimmage and is batted away, incomplete.

Brad Robbins' punt is fair caught at the 35.

Michigan 0, Nebraska 0 (6:48 1st)

Nebraska comes up empty inside Michigan 5

Nebraska takes over at the 18 after the stop.

The Huskers run a screen on first down, and it works to perfection — that's 43 yards for Rahmir Johnson to the Michigan 39, where they'll have first-and-10.

Johnson rushes for 4 more yards on the next play, and is dropped for no gain on second and third down. Nebraska goes for it on fourth-and-6, and it'll complete an over-the-top throw to Omar Manning for a 24-yard pickup to the Michigan 11, first down.

Johnson rushes for 2 and Adrian Martinez for 6. Martinez is stuffed on third down, bringing up fourth-and-2. Nebraska is going for it again: This time he's met at the line of scrimmage by Brad Hawkins, and that'll be a turnover on downs.

Michigan 0, Nebraska 0 (8:40 1st)

Michigan goes 3-and-out to open game

Michigan takes over at the 20 to start the game.

Cade McNamara hits Daylen Baldwin for a 4-yard gain, but it'l be second-and-11 after a false start. Hassan Haskins rushes for 6 yards, and McNamara is forced into throwing on the run on third down. The throw is almost complete, but it's about a few inches too far for Mike Sainristil to hang on.

Brad Robbins' punt is fair caught at the 18.

Michigan 0, Nebraska 0 (13:26 1st)


No. 9 Michigan plays under lights against Nebraska, looking to stay unbeaten and in the middle of the Big Ten East Division hunt early in the season. The Wolverines (5-0, 2-0) have gotten off to a dominant start to race up the national rankings, bludgeoning four of their first five opponents by an average of 32 points, including a 38-17 thrashing of Wisconsin last week in Madison.

Normally, Nebraska would represent another blowout opportunity, having not had a winning season since 2016. But, the Cornhuskers have recovered from a season-opening loss to Illinois to get to 3-3, hanging with Oklahoma, nearly knocking off Michigan State in East Lansing, and then demolishing Northwestern last week.

Nebraska features one of the conference's most dangerous players in dual-threat quarterback Adrian Martinez, among the nation's leaders in total offense (312.5 yards, which ranks 15th). Nine of his 15 touchdowns have come on the ground this season.

Michigan at Nebraska

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska

TV/radio: ABC/950/104.3

Line: Michigan by 3½

Records: No. 9 Michigan (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten), Nebraska (3-3, 1-2)

Series: Michigan leads 5-4-1