No. 19 Michigan beat Rutgers 20-13 to improve to 4-0 on the season, but Michigan is far from satisfied following the victory.
Michigan’s passing attack was performing well in the first half, Cade McNamara had 156 yards passing. However, things took a negative turn after halftime and McNamara threw for just 7 yards.
Michigan had four three-and-outs to start the second half, something that put Michigan’s defense in a tough spot.
“Off running the ball or throwing the ball, we struggled a little bit to get that first first down in the second half, and I think that’s what led to the struggle,” McNamara said.
McNamara noted that Rutgers wasn’t doing anything different schematically, it boiled down to not executing. “It wasn’t that big of a difference, we knew what we were getting from them. I think it was just a lack of execution on our part,” McNamara said. “Thankfully, we know that’s not gonna get the job done, so we’ve got to get better for sure.”
McNamara missed a few open targets, leading to drives being stalled and touchdowns not transpiring due to missing two open targets in the end-zone. With Rutgers successfully loading the box to stop the run, McNamara acknowledged he didn’t do enough to put the offense in ideal spots.
“When they load the box like that it comes down to us beating man coverage. I’ve gotta do a better job of throwing more accurate balls,” McNamara said. “We’ve gotta do a better job overall offensively and as a unit — me, wide receivers, and running backs, being able to beat man coverage. That’s what it’s gonna come down to.”
While Michigan will take wins however they can get them, McNamara knows putting that much pressure on the defense isn’t optimal, he took ownership of the offensive struggles and realizes second halves with just 7 yards passing is a recipe for disaster.
“I think overall, the theme going around is we’re not satisfied — and rest assured, that’s extremely the case right now, especially on the offensive side of the ball,” McNamara said. “From the offensive side of the ball we’re super proud of our defense, they played really well today and bailed us out. We gotta make sure we don’t put them in that position again.”
Michigan plays at 1-2 Wisconsin next Saturday.