|Amber Ainsworth/The Michigan Journal|
It was all Michigan all day at The Big House as the Wolverines improved to 7-2 on the season, and 4-1 in the Big Ten with an impressive 49-16 victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
Michigan controlled the game early after nearly giving up the ball on the first play of the game. The Wolverines attempted a quick lateral that Drake Johnson could not handle, what was originally ruled as a fumble was reviewed and overturned. After review the play was ruled a forward lateral, and the Wolverines maintained possession. The drive however ended in a missed field goal.
Jake Rudock led the Wolverines in passing, setting a new career high of 337 yards, to go along with two touchdowns. Rudock also ran for a touchdown, and a two-point conversion.
Rudock tossed his first touchdown pass midway through the first quarter on a 13-yard pass to Jehu Chesson.
Early in the second quarter, Jabrill Peppers was able to score his second touchdown of the season, an 18 yard run.
The Wolverines struggled to get the run game going early, but it came on eventually as they totaled 129 rushing yards on the day. They were led by DeVeon Smith who carried the ball 15 times for 73 yards, and Drake Johnson who had 27 yards off seven carries. Johnson scored a one yard touchdown half way through the second quarter, while Smith scored from four yards out early in the third quarter.
The Wolverines knew they would need to get Jake Butt more involved moving forward, and they did just that in this game. Butt led all receivers in catches and yards. He had four receptions for 102 yards.
Rudock completed passes to 10 different receivers in the game, only four of them catching more than one pass.
A week after secondary coach Mike Zordich said his group "laid an egg" against Minnesota, they flexed their muscles, and showed their strengths against the Rutgers passing attack, only allowing 97 passing yards on the day.
Cornerback Jourdan Lewis tied Marlin Jackson and Leon Hall for the single season record for pass break-ups in the first quarter. In the third quarter Lewis broke their record with his 19th pass break-up of the season.
Lewis also said after the game that the Rutgers players were celebrating in the tunnel at halftime, trailing in the game by 19 points.
"What was that about?" Lewis said after the game.
Harbaugh was not particularly pleased after seeing the Rutgers demeanor, so he put his foot on the gas in the second half, hence the quick score and two-point conversion.
Next week the Wolverines will travel to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Hoosiers on the road.