Maize & BlueReview – What to Know Before Michigan vs. Rutgers

It’s Rutgers Week — aren’t you entertained?

Michigan football is 8-0, deciding its fate to another Big Ten championship. Since nothing is guaranteed in college football, a date with the Scarlet Knights under the lights is a regular week for the Wolverines, who don’t take any team lightly.

Do you remember 2016? Heckuva year for headlines, right?

That year was Rutgers’ biggest football header when it lost to Michigan 78-0, under the lights, at home.

While Greg Schiano’s Scarlet Knights aren’t nearly as bad as the Chris Ash version, both teams are in similar positions to the 2016 groups.

Will it happen again in Piscataway?

Let’s figure it out together.

The base

Game: Saturday November 5; @ Rutgers, 7:30 PM

Spread: MICH -25.5

Total: 45.5

choices: RUTG +25.5, below 45.5

Meet Rutgers Football in 2022

head coach: Greg Schiano

file: 4-4 overall, 1-4 big ten

What to know: Rutgers is poor again — but fewer poorso that’s good? Greg Schiano is an excellent coach and the Scarlet Knights play a strong defense but the battle of the attack makes it impossible to focus on the good things about this team. Rutgers started 3-0 with weak wins – Boston College, Temple and Wagner – and the only win since Week 3 is over low Indiana. They will host Michigan on Saturday after a 31-0 loss to Minnesota.

Rutgers Violation

Rutgers switched to Gavin Wimsatt, who makes the third start of his career against Michigan on Saturday.

Wimsatt, a celebrated recruiting win for Schiano, is 16-of-40 in the season with two more interceptions (3) than touchdowns (1). Of course there is talent and something that will help Rutgers on his way.

This year there is still a long way to go for young Wimsatt with his arm, but he is especially dangerous with his legs, averaging six meters carrying a carry at 17.

So if there’s anywhere an attack that can attack you, it’s on the ground, especially with RB Samuel Brown V next to Wimsatt.

But… Rutgers is 53rd in Rush Success Rate but 85th in Offensive Line Yards, 103rd in Pass Blocking, 114th in Finishing Drives, & 124th in Pass Success Rate.

Not great, Bob.

Rutgers Defense

The defense for Rutgers is more than serviceable, but they keep giving up an absurd number of points and yards on the ground.

Despite the unit sitting 9th in Line Yards and 18th in Pass Rush, the front wasn’t enough to stop Iowa’s attack from scoring two touchdowns and Minnesota from 253 yards and four touchdowns.

Rutgers is good at coverage (34th) and an excellent tackling team (6th), but in the last two games (Minnesota and Indiana) it could have dwindled to the end of the season.

Michigan will indeed be a yardstick.


Rutgers has a defense that, on paper, can’t compete with what Michigan is doing on the ground. Minnesota’s run game is the Zero Sugar version of Jim Harbaugh’s rush attack, at least in its current dominant state, and they ran for four touchdowns.

Michigan has had a few miserable games in the red zone, leaning heavily on All-American kicker Jake Moody, who leads the nation with 89 points.

Consider Rutgers’ Red Zone defense — 114th in Finishing Drives — a perfectly paved bridge to a world where the Wolverines solve their problems by scoring touchdowns.

Rutgers’ attack has no resonance against the Michigan defense, but the Wolverines have bounced back and will be without a few guys. Their substitutions will dictate the success of the defense.

I still expect Michigan to keep Wimsatt in the game and control the trenches.

And, of course, another big day from Blake Corum will do the trick.

Both teams are below 100th in game pace, so anticipate a low-scoring affair.

Forecast: Michigan 35 Rutgers 7

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