Detroit News predictions: Michigan football vs. Rutgers
Matt Charboneau, Angelique S. Chengelis, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News predict the outcome of Saturday’s Michigan-Rutgers game at Michigan Stadium (3:30 p.m., ABC/950).
► Matt Charboneau: The Scarlet Knights are perfect through three games and Greg Schiano appears to have things on the right track. And even though the Wolverines had to go three overtimes last year to beat the Scarlet Knights, don't expect anything similar this time around. The Wolverines are running over everyone, and while no defense they've faced has been great, it's hard to believe Blake Corum and company won't keep churning up the yards. Expect another big day on the ground as the Wolverines stay unbeaten. Michigan, 38-14
► Angelique S. Chengelis: The Rutgers offense doesn’t seem to have really clicked completely yet but receiver Bo Melton was singled out by safeties coach Ron Bellamy as a concern. Defensively, at least at the start of the week, the Scarlet Knights appeared to be the first real challenge for Michigan this season. It still will be, but with starting cornerback Max Melton not expected to play because of suspension, perhaps Michigan’s run game will have some more room to do what it’s been doing. Keep an eye on Avery Young, though. Doesn’t matter who they’ve played, the unbeaten Scarlet Knights are third nationally in turnover margin and haven’t had any turnovers. Michigan hasn’t either. This will be a good test to see how zoned in to the game-by-game approach the Wolverines really are, or will they be looking ahead to Wisconsin next week, their first road game? Michigan, 38-13
► John Niyo: Michigan has won the last five in this series, but last year it took three OT periods to escape. This offense is much more efficient, though, and has fared well in the one area where Rutgers has thrived this far. Greg Schiano’s team ranks No. 3 nationally in turnover margin, but the Wolverines haven’t coughed one up yet. Michigan, 31-20
► Bob Wojnowski: The Scarlet Knights are 3-0 and improving under Greg Schiano. They’re experienced and opportunistic, with a big-threat receiver in Bo Melton. But they haven’t stopped the run, which means Michigan won’t dial down its top-rated rushing attack anytime soon. However, Rutgers just lost two cornerbacks to suspension, and the Big Ten season is when the Wolverines need to show more balance. Cade McNamara will make a few timely throws but ultimately they'll grind it out with another 300-plus yards rushing. Michigan, 34-17