Michigan football turns to Rutgers game to cure what ails Wolverines

Michigan football is desperate for win after a disastrous loss at Wisconsin. Luckily for the Wolverines, Rutgers visits Ann Arbor this week.

Nothing went right last week for Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan Wolverines. Wisconsin took it to the Wolverines, absolutely pummeling them physically and not allowing Michigan to do much offensively. Now through three games, their offense has not seemed to click under first year coordinator Josh Gattis.

Rutgers was not expected to compete for the conference, much less compete for bowl eligibility this season, so at 1-2 the Scarlet Knights are exactly where the pundits pegged them. They had an opening week win against UMass, but have suffered two consecutive losses to Iowa and Boston College.

Now they have the unfortunate task of facing a Michigan squad that should be angry after last week.

Here’s how you can watch:

Date: Saturday, Sept. 28
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Venue: Michigan Stadium
TV: Big Ten Network
Live Stream: FOX Sports Go

Keys to Victory

First for Michigan, the Badgers so far look like they could be a really good team. The Wolverines just got beat by a better team last Saturday, but they now need to put that out of their minds. They cannot let any lingering hangover creep into this week’s game.

The Wolverines need to impose their will in this one. They are clearly the superior team over Rutgers. Get nasty in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Get that offense rolling which showed some signs it can get the ball moving late in the game against Wisconsin. There is no huge playmaker like Jonathan Taylor on Rutgers. The Wolverines should be able to control the game.

Saturday presents Rutgers with their best chance for victory against Michigan in several seasons. The Wolverines are a mess on both sides of the ball and if they cannot figure it out early against Rutgers, real doubt will start to creep into Michigan’s minds.

Against Boston College last week, Rutgers did rack up nearly 400 yards total offense. Quarterback Artur Sitkowski looked promising in his first start, throwing for over 300 yards and a score with a completion percentage near 70. Running back Isaih Pacheco looked good against UMass, but has since cooled off over the last two contests. The key will be to get a balanced offense going early in hopes to catch Michigan playing nervous.

Betting Odds

Odds courtesy of Bovada

Spread: Michigan -28
Over/Under: 49

Prediction

It would be absolutely shocking to see Rutgers pull an upset. Michigan has some major problems to correct, but they should do that against Rutgers at home. Rutgers gives Michigan a little scare early, with a 7-7 tie after one quarter.  It will be all Michigan the rest of the way.

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Shea Patterson gets going again and tosses four touchdowns. The run game has a little more success than it has so far, but still far from perfect. The Wolverine defense imposes its will over the final three quarters, including three takeaways with one going for a score. Michigan gets back in the win column, but a win versus Rutgers is not going to calm the fan anxiety in Ann Arbor.

Final Score: Michigan 38, Rutgers 13