ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Their faces wore smiles hardened by a Big House brawl. Knowing smiles. Fifty-yard stares. The ones football players and coaches get when odds were slim, the win was earned and you're filing through the only tunnel out of the brick-encased ring and fans of both colors hang over the wall, pounding the proverbial ropes.
On one of college football's definitive stages, Nebraska delivered a dominating defense, a game-clinching drive, a 17-13 win and finally a rustling hush in Michigan's Big Ten battleship of a stadium, like innumerable leaves sweeping across a yard, except for a thin band of red cheering in one end zone.