The No. 20 Michigan Wolverines were dominated a week ago by the Wisconsin Badgers, a loss that head coach Jim Harbaugh called a “gut-check”. A week removed from that bad day in Madison, the Wolverines showed their teeth against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
Michigan received the ball to start the game and had their best opening drive of the season (the first drive of the first three games ended with a fumble). With offensive coordinator Josh Gattis coming down from the booth and calling plays on the sideline for this game, Michigan needed just 5 plays to score. Quarterback Shea Patterson found wideout Nico Collins down the left sideline for a 48-yard touchdown.
Michigan’s second drive of the game was as efficient as their first, mixing pass and run and pace of play. On 3rd & Goal Patterson took it 2 yards on a bootleg to put Michigan up 14-0 with five minutes left to play in the first quarter.
On the subsequent possession for Rutgers, a long drive featuring crossing patterns aplenty put them deep into the red zone. However, Michigan’s defense buckled down and on 4th & Goal Aidan Hutchinson laid the wood on quarterback Art Sitkowski.
Checking in on Rutgers pic.twitter.com/S5tbDs6WrG— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) September 28, 2019
Michigan’s fourth drive on offense netted their third touchdown. Once again the drive was a steady balance of pass and run. Patterson found Tarik Black for 22 yards, and Nick Eubanks for 14. The final play of the drive was a 4-yard Shea Patterson scramble, putting Michigan up 21-0 with 7:33 left in the 2nd quarter. Michigan ultimately added a Jake Moody 33-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the half to go up 24-0 at the break.
The start of the second half got off to a tremendous start for the Wolverines. Rutgers kick returner Tre Avery was stripped by Tyler Cochran, who also recovered the fumble, putting Michina at the 15-yard line. Just three plays later, Christian Turner and the offensive line muscled their way in for a score to give Michigan a 31-0 lead.
Shea Patterson’s final drive of the day gave him his third rushing touchdown of the day, this time of the QB sneak variety, putting Michigan up 38-0. It was a nice final drive for Patterson where he hit Donovan Peoples-Jones for 17 yards and Ronnie Bell for 22 yards. A good bounce-back drive after Patterson under-threw Nico Collins deep and was intercepted on Michigan’s previous possession.
With backup QB Dylan McCaffrey out this week (concussion) Milton was the next man up for U-M at the position. On Milton’s first drive he went 1-of-2 for 7 yards, and most importantly, a QB bootleg touchdown from 1-yard out that looked eerily similar to Patterson’s earlier in the game.
Milton’s day got even better on his second drive, finding Giles Jackson for a 23-yard touchdown. The throw by Milton was an absolute dart, a true beaut’, and upped the Michigan lead to 52-0, which winded up being the final score in this one.