Michigan Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson ready to begin Big 10 season
Saturday’s game: Nebraska at Michigan, noon; TV: FS1
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR — It didn’t take long for Shea Patterson to get in a groove at Michigan.
“I’ve never been as comfortable,” he said.
The 19th-ranked Wolverines (2-1) averaged 47 points in lopsided wins the last two weeks in large part because their quarterback has been very accurate and effective.
Michigan is determined to take a small step toward ending its 14-year Big Ten title drought by beating winless Nebraska (0-2) on Saturday at home in the conference opener for both teams.
Patterson threw three touchdown passes in each of the last two games, connecting on 74 percent of his passes for 362 yards and throwing a total of one interception against Western Michigan and SMU.
“Shea has been seeing the field really well,” coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Making accurate throws on time, getting good protection for the most part. Receivers across the board have been catching the football, getting separation, getting open and finishing plays.
“That’s been a positive, he said.”
Patterson turned a potentially negative situation, playing for under-probation Mississippi, into something good by transferring to Michigan.
“I’ve grown a lot as a person and as a quarterback, too,” he said. “I think coming here has really gotten me a lot better and more knowledgeable about the game of football.”
Nebraska, meanwhile, is hoping quarterback Adrian Martinez can play for the first time since hurting his right knee late in the season-opening loss to Colorado.
How close is the freshman to being able to play?
“Really close,” coach Scott Frost said Thursday.
If Martinez isn’t cleared to play, sophomore walk-on Andrew Bunch will make his second straight start. Bunch was 19 of 27 for 177 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in last week’s loss to Troy.