No. 19 Michigan will have its first major test of the college football season when it hosts Rutgers in a rematch of last year’s epic three-overtime game.
Both teams are hoping to remain undefeated and build some momentum with huge matchups coming up to start October. Michigan will have to take on Wisconsin on the road next week, and Rutgers will have to take on Ohio State at home.
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Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh knows what Rutgers can bring to the table and isn’t downplaying the pivotal Big Ten matchup.
“Hard, tough, guys that play all out, play together,” Harbaugh said of the Greg Schiano-led team, via SI.com. “Don’t make mistakes, execute, disciplined teams. All of the good stuff.”
One of the bigger differences going into this week’s matchup than last year’s is how many points Rutgers is scoring. The Scarlet Knights put up 61, 17 and 45 points in wins over Temple, Syracuse and Delaware respectively. It appears the team has a bit more of an offensive burst than last year.
RUTGERS’ GREG SCHIANO BELIEVES ‘MICHIGAN IS BACK TO BEING MICHIGAN’ AS TEAM FACES TOUGH TEST
Harbaugh recognizes that.
“They’re scoring points. They average around 27 points a game. They’re playing really salty defense, really good special teams. They’re playing good football,” he said.
“Rutgers has got really good backs. I have great respect for [Isaih] Pacheco. They’re extremely athletic. He’s a really good runner, gets north-south and breaks tackles. He can make the big play. They’ve got a really good quarterback, and receiver No. 18, he’s outstanding. The more good playmakers you have, the better.”
Michigan is no slouch, though.
The team has put up 47, 31 and 63 points against Western Michigan, Washington and Northern Illinois, respectively. Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara has three touchdown passes, while Blake Corum is leading the way on the ground with seven rushing touchdowns.
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There will be a battle on Saturday. The game begins at 3:30 p.m. ET.