Michigan football will take on Rutgers in the first game of Big Ten play for the Wolverines and here are five predictions.
The Wolverines will face their first real test of the season on Saturday against Rutgers and as Michigan football fans should well know, the Scarlet Knights aren’t a team to take lightly.
Back in 2020, Cade McNamara had to come off the bench to rally the Wolverines to an overtime win. Two years ago, Rutgers was one of the few teams to be within a possession and have the ball in the fourth quarter.
Ohio State didn’t even do that in the 2021 game. But Rutgers did and last season, the Scarlet Knights even led Michigan football at the half before J.J. McCarthy and a couple of Michael Barrett interceptions flipped the script in the second half.
This year’s Rutgers team is probably the best Michigan football has faced over the past three years. The Scarlet Knights are 3-0 and have beaten Northwestern, Temple, and Virginia Tech. Those aren’t powerhouses, but Rutgers had played a tougher schedule than Michigan.
Rutgers is averaging 210 rushing yards per game and a defense that’s allowing just 10 yards per game and has been even stingier against the run than U-M.
So what’s going to happen on Saturday? Here are five predictions and a score.
J.J. McCarthy bounces back
Frankly, my confidence in McCarthy isn’t shaken at all. I do want to see him come out and have a solid game on Saturday like all Michigan football fans do, but that’s my expectation.
Rutgers won’t make it easy though. The Scarlet Knights have allowed just three touchdown passes this season and have intercepted five passes.
Of course, they also haven’t faced an offense like Michigan’s. Roman Wilson has been stellar and quietly, and Cornelius Johnson has been just about as good. Colston Loveland is a matchup nightmare and Tyler Morris is only going to keep getting better.
Rutgers is likely going to put the game in McCarthy’s hands and this time around, he’ll look more like he did during the first two weeks than the Bowling Green game.
I say McCarthy avoids interceptions and tosses two touchdown passes.