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ANN ARBOR — Earlier in the week, Ameer Abdullah didn’t hold back when he discussed his feelings about playing against Michigan.
“Me, honestly, I’m not a big fan of Michigan,” Nebraska’s junior running back told the media in Lincoln, Neb. “Nothing would make me happier than to go up there and shut them up.”
Saturday, the Huskers reduced the 112,204 fans at Michigan Stadium to boos. It was music to Nebraska’s ears.
“We wanted to come in and quiet 110,000 fans and that's what we did,” Huskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong, Jr., said. “It's the best feeling ever, to go into an opponent’s field and quiet their crowd."
Armstrong finished 11 of 19 passing for 139 yards and a touchdown. That lone touchdown came in the fourth quarter, on a shovel pass to Abdullah for a five-yard score.
Armstrong’s throw was originally intended to be an option pitch, but Michigan defensive end Frank Clark rushed onto the quarterback and left Abdullah open on the right side to set up the throw. Abdullah leaped into the end zone to score his second touchdown.
After, Abdullah clarified his comments.
“I don’t not like Michigan,” said Abdullah, who entered the game as the Big Ten’s leading rusher and all-purpose yardage leader. “Those guys, they play hard.
“Of course, I’m not going to like Michigan or any other team when we play them. The fans make it a great atmosphere, and they really make it tough on an away team.”
WHITMER DUO: A pair of Whitmer graduates played a part in Saturday’s game.
Michigan defensive end Chris Wormley — a former Panther standout — recovered Quincy Enunwa’s fumble in the final minute of the third quarter to put the Wolverines at the Huskers’ 33-yard line, a drive that ended when Matt Wile’s 52-yard field goal went wide left.
LeRoy Alexander, a safety and redshirt freshman that played at Whitmer, had three solo tackles for the Huskers.
LOMBARDI AWARD: Michigan announced this week that left guard Taylor Lewan is a semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award, given annually to the nation’s top down lineman or linebacker.
Lewan is one of 12 semifinalists for the award, which will be presented in December in Houston.
BUSSING IT: The Muncie (Ind.) Star-Press reported this week that Michigan coach Brady Hoke and former Ball State football player Jason Whitlock each contributed $5,000 to a Ball State student bus trip for the Cardinals’ game Wednesday at Northern Illinois.
The report came a day after Whitlock, a columnist for ESPN.com, wrote that the Wolverines needed to take on the personality of Hoke — a Ball State alum and former Cardinals coach — but criticized several of Michigan’s players.
“You can criticize us, and criticize coaches, I’ve got no problem with it, but if you don't know what's going on with 18 to 23-year-olds on a daily basis and the different things that affect them in their life, I think that’s off-limits,” Hoke said this week on Detroit radio station 97.1 The Ticket. “They’re not pro football players. As much as some people want to think they are or treated that way, that's not what they are.”
Whitlock answered Thursday evening.
“I think it was fair, and I also made a mistake,” Whitlock said on 97.1 The Ticket. “In my mind, it’s implied the way that I wrote the column that my impressions and opinions of players are based off on-field performances.”
As for that column?
“Whoever questions our toughness,” Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner said, “they can shove it.”