No. 19 Michigan discovered, nearly the arduous approach, that its working recreation may be slowed down.
Hassan Haskins ran for touchdowns the primary two instances the Wolverines had the ball to assist them take a 17-point lead, however the undefeated group needed to maintain on to beat Rutgers 20-13 on Saturday.
“Gritty recreation,” coach Jim Harbaugh mentioned. “It wasn’t fairly, however once they begin making an area for fairly on the scoreboard then we’ll fear about that.”
Michigan (4-0, 1-0 Large Ten) opened convention play by working the ball on its first seven snaps and Harbaugh’s conservative recreation plan nearly price him. After main 20-3 at halftime, the Wolverines failed to choose up a primary down on their first 4 possessions within the second half.
“We simply couldn’t actually discover a rhythm and that’s the primary time that’s occurred once I’ve been within the recreation,” quarterback Cade McNamara mentioned.
The Scarlet Knights (3-1, 0-1) rallied from a 17-point, third-quarter deficit to tug inside seven early within the fourth quarter, however Valentino Ambrosio missed a brief discipline aim. On their subsequent possession, they turned it over on downs and fell to 1 of 4 on fourth down.
“We’re going to be aggressive,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano mentioned. “We’re not right here to be shut.”
Michigan ended its drought and not using a first down late within the fourth quarter to arrange a 47-yard discipline aim and an opportunity to earn a two-score lead, however Jake Moody missed it.
That gave Rutgers the ball with 1:49 left and no timeouts. Two snaps later, quarterback Noah Vedral fumbled for his group’s first turnover of the season to seal the defeat.
“We actually had our alternative to win the sport, and that’s what damage,” Schiano mentioned. “No one’s right here for ethical victories. We got here right here to win the sport, and that’s what we totally anticipated to do.”
Michigan entered the sport averaging 350.3 yards dashing to guide the nation and was held to simply 112 yards on the bottom. Blake Corum was restricted to 68 yards — half his common — on 21 makes an attempt and Haskins ran for simply 41 yards on 12 carries. McNamara was 9 of 16 for 163 yards passing for the Wolverines, lacking some open receivers together with one in the long run zone.
“We all know that’s not going to get the job completed,” McNamara mentioned. “We now have to get higher for positive.”
Isaih Pacheco had 107 yards dashing for the Scarlet Knights, who received their first three video games for the primary time since 2012. Vedral was 18 of 31 for 156 yards with a touchdown pass to Aaron Young within the third quarter, beginning the comeback that fell brief.
Rutgers: This system doesn’t have a win over a ranked group since 2009, taking away any likelihood coaches and gamers go house happy with an ethical victory.
“We got here out right here and we mentioned, `We’re gonna learn how we stack up,'” Schiano mentioned. “And, we discovered. Bit brief.”
Michigan: Working the ball early and sometimes labored properly earlier than the Large Ten season, however convention groups are going to pressure McNamara to throw extra to beat them.
“Once they load field like that, it’s going to return right down to us beating man protection,” McNamara mentioned. “And, I’ve acquired to do a greater job.”
Rutgers had lots of success working the ball and at instances by throwing it, nevertheless it tried and failed to fool the Wolverines generally on fourth downs. The Scarlet Knights transformed solely as soon as in 4 tries.
“They’re like turnovers, just like the fumble,” Harbaugh mentioned. “That’s what we finally wanted to win.”
Michigan linebacker Josh Ross, the group’s main tackler, left the sport with a stinger and didn’t return.
“He’s going to be OK,” Harbaugh mentioned.
Michigan would possibly keep the place it’s, or presumably may slip some within the AP High 25 after the lackluster victory.
Rutgers: Hosts No. 10 Ohio State subsequent Saturday.
Michigan: Goes on the highway for the primary time subsequent Saturday to face Wisconsin. The No. 18 Badgers were were beaten 41-13 by No. 12 Notre Dame.