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Michigan felt Josh Ross’ absence on Saturday, but he should be back for Wisconsin

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The Wolverines needed their captain on the field on Saturday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 25 Rutgers at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan linebacker Josh Ross missed the second half of Michigan’s win against Rutgers on Saturday due to an apparent leg injury. The Michigan defense missed having one of their best defenders and best leaders on the field for the last 30 minutes.

“I thought that was a real challenge,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “It was a loss without Josh being out there, from a physical standpoint, and also coaching that inside linebacker up on the field.”

The Rutgers offense certainly had more success in the second half than they did in the first half, almost doubling their total yard production. A big part of that came from their ability to run the ball with the option.

“When Josh Ross went out in particular, we were affected there,” Harbaugh said. “The eye discipline of the linebackers, the responsibilities on the read-option game was stressed.”

Despite the challenges, the defense was still able to get the job done and make the key stops necessary to secure a victory for the Wolverines. It was also a time to grow and gain experience for the players who needed to pick up the slack of the Josh Ross injury.

“Good learning experience for those young linebackers,” Coach Harbaugh said. “They were stressed in that quarterback read-option game, but they’ll learn from it and grow.”

Michigan returns to action on October 2nd for their first road game of the season, facing Wisconsin in Madison. Coach Harbaugh said Monday that Josh Ross is probable to return for that game.