Michigan Football: 5 Predictions for Wolverines against Rutgers

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /
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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The olive jar finally opens

Michigan football has been outstanding on defense through three games. None of its opponents have scored more than twice and Western Michigan had the high at 14 points.

But one thing the Wolverines haven’t done much on defense is take away the ball. U-M got one takeaway each against Northern Illinois and Washington, which meant it won the turnover battle because U-M hasn’t coughed it up once.

At some point though, the defense will need more impact plays. It got one from Gemon Green last week and as Jim Harbaugh said, it’s only a matter of time. He also brought up an olive jar.

"“It was great to get the turnover … You’ve just gotta get that first one, that first turnover or first interception,” Harbaugh explained. “It’s like an [olive] jar. The [olives] are in there so tight when you open up a new jar — you turn it over with the top open and nothing comes out. If you can just get one of those to come out, then they all start plopping out.”"

Rutgers hasn’t turned the ball over yet this season but Noah Vedral, the starting quarterback threw eight interceptions in nine Big Ten games last season including one against U-M.

The defense did give up 381 yards to Vedral as Rutgers built a 17-0 lead that McNamara eventually rallied the Wolverines back from.

But this is a different defense and on Saturday, the olive jar gets opened up by the pass rush and the secondary as Michigan football gets not one, but two takeaways.