PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Fourth-ranked Michigan looks to extend its winning streak to nine games when it visits Rutgers on Saturday. The Wolverines routed No. 20 Penn State 42-7 in Week 10 to become the first Big Ten team to knock off three ranked opponents in successive games since Lloyd Carr’s 1997 Michigan squad, and the Wolverines hope to stay on course for their first College Football Playoff appearance by downing the Scarlet Knights for the fourth consecutive time.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Michigan -39.5.
“It doesn’t seem like a good idea to look ahead,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters. “We’re going to concentrate on the ball game that we have and take it one game at a time. “Rutgers is still searching for its first Big Ten win of the season after dropping a 31-17 decision to Wisconsin. The Scarlet Knights have lost eight straight games, including six in a row in conference play, and are on pace for their lowest win total since a 1-11 campaign in 2002. Michigan has outscored them 162-30 over their last three meetings. “Michigan is a great football team and has a lot of players who are playing at a very high level,” Rutgers coach Chris Ash told reporters. “It’s going to be a tremendous challenge and a great opportunity for us to continue to improve.”
ABOUT MICHIGAN (8-1, 6-0 Big Ten)
Karan Higdon rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown in the win against Penn State to go over 100 for the seventh straight game – the longest active streak in FBS. Backup quarterback Dylan McCaffrey suffered a broken collarbone against the Nittany Lions and will likely be sidelined for the remainder of the season while nose tackle Aubrey Solomon is questionable after limping off in the second half with a leg injury. Defensive end Rashan Gary recorded two tackles after missing the previous three games with a shoulder injury while cornerback Brandon Watson returned an interception for a touchdown to become the third player in program history to register two pick-sixes in a single season.
ABOUT RUTGERS (1-8, 0-6)
Raheem Blackshear hauled in eight passes for 162 yards and a touchdown against Wisconsin to become the first Scarlet Knight running back to go over 100 receiving yards in a game since Paul James in 2014. Linebacker Trevor Morris made 10 tackles against the Badgers to become the 11th player in school history to reach 300 for his career, while safety Saquan Hampton picked off two passes – the first Rutgers player to intercept a pair of passes in the same game since Brandon Jones in 2012. Offensive coordinator John McNulty spent three years as a graduate assistant at Michigan from 1991-94.
1. Michigan has held eight of its nine opponents to its season low in total offense.
2. The Wolverines are 12-0 when Higdon rushes for over 100 yards.
3. Rutgers is 3-21 in Big Ten games under Ash.
PREDICTION: Michigan 49, Rutgers 6
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