Michigan Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh wary of visit to Nebraska


AP College Football Writer

LINCOLN, Neb. — Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines gave Scott Frost a harsh introduction to the Big Ten in 2018.

Frost was coaching his third game with the Cornhuskers and his team, down 39-0 at halftime, lost 56-10.

“I think it’s pretty clear we’re not ready to compete against a team like that,” Frost said minutes after taking his punishment at the Big House.

The ninth-ranked Wolverines come to Memorial Stadium on Saturday night, and Harbaugh and Frost both believe the Huskers are up to the task this time.

Michigan (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) is off to its best start in five years, has not trailed in any of its games and is coming off a 38-17 win at Wisconsin. Nebraska (3-3, 1-2) appears vastly improved from its embarrassing season-opening loss at Illinois, having pushed Oklahoma and Michigan State to the limit and hammering Northwestern 56-7 last week.

“I think Nebraska is really impressive,” Harbaugh said. “They’re playing their best football. It was a dominating performance (last week). You look back at their games that they played. They’ve all been close against outstanding opponents.

“It’s going to be a big challenge. No different really from what we were facing last week. We’re in the same situation, getting ready to play a really hungry team, a team that’s hitting their stride.”

Michigan started the season unranked and picked to finish middle of the pack in the Big Ten East. That the Wolverines have built their record against unranked opponents doesn’t matter to them.

“We know what we are capable of,” linebacker Josh Ross said.

Frost is 0-9 at Nebraska against ranked opponents, and a night game in Lincoln would be an ideal stage for a breakthrough against one of college football’s iconic brands. The game also is an opportunity to chart the Huskers’ growth since that abysmal afternoon in Ann Arbor in 2018.

“I remember us getting smacked,” said Adrian Martinez, who was the starting quarterback that game and will be again Saturday. “It was a rough game for myself and a rough game for the team. I know I only played a half of football. Different teams. We are in a much different spot as a program and as a unit on both sides of the ball here.”