Beating Rutgers hasn’t come easy for No. 4 Michigan lately
No. 4 Michigan (8-0, 5-0, No. 5 CFP) at Rutgers (4-4, 1-4), Saturday, 7:40 p.m. ET (BTN)
Line: Michigan by 25 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Michigan leads 7-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Wolverines are aiming to keep pace with their goals to win Big Ten and national championships. They also can’t afford a close game because they are on the outside looking in at the playoffs, ranked at No. 5 behind Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgia and Clemson. Rutgers needs to win two of its final four games to have a shot at a second straight postseason bowl game.
Michigan RB Blake Corum vs. Rutgers’ defense. The undersized, shifty and powerful Corum has 843 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in five Big Ten games. The Scarlet Knights’ only chance to stay competitive is to slow down a player averaging 5.81 yards a carry in Big Ten games.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Michigan: CB Mike Sainristil. The senior, who shifted to defense from wide receiver, may become the team’s top CB due to Gemon Green’s injuries from the melee in the Michigan Stadium tunnel after beating rival Michigan State last week. Sainristill fled Haiti when he was 7 months old and and was raised in the Boston area.
Rutgers: QB Gavin Wimsatt. Coach Greg Schiano has started a new era, turning the team over to the redshirt freshman for the second straight game. The highly regarded Wimsatt started the 31-0 loss to Minnesota last weekend and was 6 for 17 for 68 yards with two interceptions.
FACTS & FIGURES
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and his players were shaken last Saturday night when Green and Ja’Den McBurrows were roughed up by Michigan State players, eight of whom were suspended pending a police investigation, in the tunnel after last week’s game. ... The Wolverines have been 8-0 three times over the last 25 years, twice under Harbaugh. ... The Wolverines’ averaging scoring margin of 29.5 trails only top-ranked Georgia and No. 3 Ohio State. ... The Wolverines have won the last six against Rutgers. ... Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy has completed 74.6% of his passes, leading all FBS qualfied passers. ... K Jake Moody, the reigning Lou Groza Award winner, made a career-long, 54-yard kick last week and has nine field goals on as many attempts in his last two games.
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