PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Free Press sports writer Nick Baumgardner rates the Michigan Wolverines on a scale of 1-10, after the 42-7 win at Rutgers:
Shea Patterson had no trouble, outside of having to deal with the wind. He was sharp throughout, throwing for 260 yards and three touchdowns. More importantly, he was barely touched. The offensive line did a fine job of keeping Patterson clean, and there were no big hits. Chris Evans rushed for 75 yards, Tru Wilson had 58, Karan Higdon had 42. With the exception of a failed fourth-and-1 deep in Rutgers territory early, Michigan’s offense did whatever it wanted.
The blown assignments on the 80-yard touchdown run will bother defensive coordinator Don Brown. That was uncharacteristic of Michigan, but it wasn’t a theme. The Wolverines had little trouble containing Rutgers. Though a few injuries could be cause for concern, as Lavert Hill and Kwity Paye left the game. Josh Metellus did not play.
Special teams 8
Michigan didn’t really need anything in the special teams department. The Wolverines did give up a long kickoff return, but the play was called back due to a penalty. Quinn Nordin made all six extra points. Will Hart had a 51-yard punt.
Michigan was a tad sluggish to start this one, which isn’t completely surprising. But it self-corrected quickly and ran through the Scarlet Knights as expected. The gameplan to keep Patterson away from contact worked. Michigan sprinkled in some younger players and got out of New Jersey without much trouble. The goal will likely be the same next week at home against Indiana, before the Wolverines close the season at Ohio State.