The Michigan Wolverines have not made anything look easy this season and never was that more apparent than in Saturday’s 48-42 triple-overtime win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. This is the kind of game that has you questioning your life choices, allegiances, etc.
For awhile, it looked like the bottoming out for Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff, and heck, it honestly might still be. Four seasons ago, the Wolverines walked off of that field as 78-0 victors. Saturday night/Sunday morning was much different and further illustrates a regression in the form of a dogfight with a team that is no doubt improved and much more competitive, but still a doormat.
Michigan came out of the gates and trailed 17-0. This lead the Wolverines to pull Joe Milton — who got the start at quarterback again — in favor of Cade McNamara. It proved to be the spark that Michigan needed, as they would outscore the Scarlet Knights 35-10 heading into the final drive of the game. However, Rutgers was able to tie it with Don Brown’s defense unable to execute late and we would go to overtime with the score tied at 35-35.
As if things were not sketchy enough, Michigan missed a field goal to start the first overtime and all that Rutgers had to do was score once and the game was over. They missed their field goal that won have ended the game and we went on to a second overtime. The Wolverines and Scarlet Knights would trade touchdowns on the next three possessions before Daxton Hill seal the victory with an interception at the end of the contest.
Watching this game requires multiple showers and the thought of revisiting it makes me want to sprint right to the nearest chapel for a moment of silence and prayer.
The biggest positive by far was McNamara’s performance, which saw him finish 27-for-36 for 260 yards and four touchdowns. Hassan Haskins led the team in rushing with 112 yards and a touchdown, while Cornelius Johnson had five catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
Next up for Michigan is a “showdown” with 0-5 Penn State next Saturday in Ann Arbor. The kickoff time has yet to be set.
PS — Leave Don Brown in Piscataway