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MnB staff roundtable: well, it’s Rutgers


Dustin Johnson / Maize n Brew

Penn State left their elite team in Happy Valley but remembered to pack their timeouts. Michigan depantsed them and got that lunch money. Plus interest. Simple goal: win and in. Seems like we’ve seen this movie before, though...and the revenge tour takes a small detour to Piscataway. Rutgers is bad. Michigan is good. Really no need to dig into nuance in a matchup of Goliath versus David’s second cousin once removed from an inferior, smaller program. Instead, let us maybe take a breath after three of the most impressive wins by any team in college football. Dare I say that Michigan might’ve been this good all along, they just needed to start having fun again? Never more apparent than an emboldened Winovich and Peoples-Jones did an exact impression of McSorley and Barkley’s TD celebrations, respectively.


Dan P: This should be the easiest game of the season for the Wolverines. Rutgers is just not a good football team. They are 1-8 on the season and are the laughingstock of the Big Ten. Karan Higdon should have himself a day and put up BIG numbers on.

Surprisingly, Rutgers actually has one of the best pass defenses in the country statistically (I believe it is mostly because teams know they can just run all over them). Rutgers is ranked 20th in the nation in terms of passing yards allowed per game.

Offensively, Rutgers is arguably the worst team in football and going up against the Wolverines defense will not be pretty. Remember, this Scarlet Knights football team has a game where 2 quarterbacks threw for 5 interceptions and just 2 completions on 17 attempts. AND THAT WAS AGAINST MARYLAND’S SECONDARY. Saying that Rutgers will struggle to move the ball through the air is an understatement.

These should be a blowout of epic proportions and an overall easy week for the Wolverines.

Jared: This is improvement week, part 2. I know that you shouldn’t overlook any games on your schedule, especially when you are in the hunt for both a Big Ten and National Championship, but Rutgers is flat out awful. We could play our second units across the board and still win by 3 scores. In fact, I think that should be the plan.

This is a great opportunity to sort out the backup quarterback position with Dylan McAffery, aka Run DMC, out for the rest of the season. I think most of the fan base wants to see Joe Milton, who as a true freshman is more physically ready than either Peters or Run DMC, but likely has a long way to go with learning the offense, reading opposing defenses, etc. With the new redshirt rules we likely see him on Saturday regardless.

I also would love to see Karan Higdon get over the 1,000 mark and sit down for the rest of the day (needs 37 yds). He is the engine that drives this team and no one player might be more crucial to our success down the road. That should give Evans, Tru Wilson, and even O’Maury Samuels and Christian Turner some valuable reps.

The same can be said of the defense where we should be trying to sit the starters for the majority of the second half. You’re not getting Winovich and Bush off the field- as they are fire breathing lunatics-but Gary and the corners don’t need to be risking injury in a blowout.

Kevin: Commence Operation Don’t Get Anyone Injured or Suspended. Pretty much the only thing necessary to win this game is showing up. All of the good in-state recruits in New Jersey opt to go to other power five programs not named Rutgers. Because Rutgers shouldn’t be a power five program. Jim Delaney wants that New York money though. Rutgers has a hot tub and a cannon though. Cool.

I’m legitimately curious to know the strategy the coaching staff deploys. There will be no need to throw more than 5-10 passes the entire game, but at the same time, can’t wear out the running backs. Without McCaffrey, does that mean Peters gets put in for the second half to handoff 40 more times, or Shea comes out in a uniform made out of pillows or what.

Michigan will have a target on their back, but the people going for that target have to be able to like see and stuff. Have I mentioned Rutgers is bad yet?

Did anyone else notice Penn State couldn’t stop the few RPO plays Michigan ran despite seeing it on tape against Michigan State? Run those until someone stops it, and we know Rutgers won’t. Easy way to tick up that average yards per play stat and Michigan’s overall YPC is very strong through nine games. They tried a screen pass to Evans at last, and, lo and behold, it worked! Michigan has speed on the edge and over the top, and Pep and crew are becoming more and more willing to try this stuff because the success rate has been good these last three games. Who better to tinker with new plays than poor Rutgers...

Sam D: Can we just talk about how Rutgers isn’t qualified to be a Power Five team?

The Scarlet Knights have never been historically good. They’re highest peak was a No. 12 finish in 2006, and five minor bowl wins under Schiano. They were 11-44 in the five years before he arrived.

Now, Chris Ash is even worse at 7-26 in three seasons. There’s a reason teams like Temple left the Big East in its heyday. There’s a reason high school teams have different divisions.

Rutgers isn’t competent enough to play in this conference. It’s unfair to them as they try to crawl out of ineptitude.

Michigan automatically wins the football game if one of the players manages to fire Rutgers’ cannon. We can all agree on that, right?