RUSH OFFENSE vs. RUTGERS RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan’s pretty bad at running the ball, coming in at #97 nationally (127 yards/game) and #108 in yards per carry (3.5). Starting running back Zach Charbonnet (4.6 YPC) was limited last week, and backup Christian Turner (4.3 YPC) hasn’t shown much. That ineffectiveness is mostly due to an offensive line that can’t get movement and a starting quarterback who won’t run the ball when given a clear read to run the ball; the backup, who will run the ball, has a concussion and won’t play this week. Rutgers is #118 in rushing defense (218 yards allowed/game) and #108 in yards allowed per carry (4.88). Their best performance so far was allowing 277 yards and 4 touchdowns (on 61 carries) to Boston College in a 30-16 loss. Junior linebacker Tyshon Fogg (6’1″, 237 lbs.) leads the team with 33 tackles. Former Michigan linebacker Drew Singleton (6’2″, 233), a redshirt sophomore, should be the starting weakside linebacker despite just 12 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss so far this year. The defensive line is not particularly large or explosive.
Hit the jump for more.
PASS OFFENSE vs. RUTGERS PASS DEFENSE
Michigan is #75 in passing offense (237 yards/game) and that seems high. Shea Patterson is completing less than 56% of his passes for 7.0 yards per attempt, and this week’s primary backup, Joe Milton, is 0/3 as the third-stringer through three games. Ronnie Bell appears to be Patterson’s favorite target (11 catches, 180 yards), while anybody else is an afterthought. The Wolverines are #77 in sacks allowed, and Wisconsin hit Michigan’s quarterbacks 19 times last week. Luckily, Rutgers is #112 in sacks (1 per game) and #70 in interceptions (2). Overall, the Scarlet Knights are #22 in passing defense (175 yards allowed/game) and #24 in passer rating allowed. The secondary doesn’t mind coming up to hit, which could be used to Michigan’s advantage if they could develop any kind of running game, but that’s asking a lot from a bunch of former 4- and 5-star recruits, so maybe Michigan can just muddle through averaging 3 yards a carry and trying play action over the top.
RUSH DEFENSE vs. RUTGERS RUSH OFFENSE
Michigan is #114 in rushing defense and #82 in yards per carry allowed (4.29). The Wolverines’ interior defensive linemen have not been impressive, and the rotation is much narrower than in recent years. Michigan has had years where they could rotate in four or five solid defensive tackles, and now it’s . . . ummm . . . one. Michigan’s top three tacklers are all former or current Vipers: Khaleke Hudson (34), Brad Hawkins (27), and Jordan Glasgow (24). Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (23 tackles, 2.5 TFL) has arguably been Michigan’s best defensive player. Rutgers is #103 in rushing offense (120 yards/game) and #82 in yards per carry (3.96). Sophomore running back Isaih Pacheco (5’11”, 210) is pretty good (239 yards, 5.2 YPC, 4 TD) despite not having a good offensive line in front of him. He gets the bulk of the carries, and Rutgers will try some jet sweeps with wideouts, too. The quarterbacks have not been a factor in the running game, with 6 carries for -9 yards so far.
PASS DEFENSE vs. RUTGERS PASS OFFENSE
Michigan is #4 in passing defense (135 yards allowed/game) but #52 in passer rating allowed. That’s not necessarily because Michigan is good on the back end – it’s because the Wolverines’ first three opponents are either not good at throwing the ball or they didn’t need to because they were gashing the defense on the ground. Michigan has notched 5 sacks so far with 2 interceptions. The Scarlet Knights have allowed just 2 sacks this year, which is tied for #6 in the country. They throw screens and get the ball out quick because the offensive line isn’t good. They’re #77 in passing offense and #103 in passer rating; the quarterbacks have thrown 3 touchdowns and 6 interceptions; Saturday’s starter will be Artur Sitkowski (6’5″, 230), who has 1 TD and 2 INT on the season. Running back/receiver Raheem Blackshear (5’9″, 192) has 22 catches for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns, and receiver Bo Melton (5’11”, 191) has 9 catches for 186 yards and 1 score. Rutgers is pretty good at finding skill guys who can run, but they have a hard time finding any guys with size who can run…or guys who can protect the quarterback.
- Rutgers players recruited by Michigan include: RB Elijah Barnwell, DL Micah Clark, WR Bo Melton, OL Raiqwon O’Neal, LB Drew Singleton, QB Artur Sitkowski
- Rutgers players from the State of Michigan include: DL Devin Baldwin (Southfield A&T)
- Michigan players from the State of Michigan include: DT Michael Dwumfour, WR Brad Hawkins, DB Hunter Reynolds, C Cesar Ruiz
- Drew Singleton transferred out of Michigan
LAST TIME THEY PLAYED…
- On November 10, 2018, Michigan went to Piscataway and beat Rutgers 42-7
- Rutgers RB Isaih Pacheco had an 80-yard TD run
- Michigan WR Oliver Martin had his first and only TD catch with the Wolverines
- Michigan QB Shea Patterson was 18/27 for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns
- Michigan still shows cracks defensively, particularly in defending screens
- Michigan’s running game shows signs of life. Christian Turner finishes with 80 yards rushing.
- Michigan finishes with 3 sacks and 2 interceptions.
- Michigan 38, Rutgers 17
You need to login in order to vote