No. 16 Michigan has QB questions with Rutgers on deck
Just as the Wolverines (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) tried hard to forget their last-play loss to Michigan State on Oct. 17, they insist the emotional high of their goal-line stand for a win at Minnesota last weekend will be short-lived.
''We didn't dwell on (the Michigan State play) long at all. Coach (Jim) Harbaugh told us to live with it and move on,'' nose tackle Ryan Glasgow said. ''The play against Minnesota, I think we'll have the same approach. You can't think just because you do that once, or win a game on a great play, you can't let that blind you as you're preparing.''
Glasgow and linebacker Joe Bolden were credited with the tackle on Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner's last-gasp sneak attempt. It was the Wolverines' second straight stop from inside the 1-yard-line in the final seconds after they successfully defended a play-action pass on the previous play.
Earlier in that game, Michigan starting quarterback Jake Rudock left the field after suffering what Harbaugh would later call a ''torso'' injury. On Monday, Harbaugh said Rudock's ability to play Saturday will be determined this week in practice.
''We'll see how much he can do,'' Harbaugh said. ''He'll probably be sore, probably be limited. That would be expected.''
Harbaugh said ''there's no magic formula'' for determining Rudock's availability on Saturday other than he would not put him in a position to further injure himself. ''We'll go with the player that is our best option, the player that gives us the best chance to win,'' he said.
The Wolverines will apparently be without tailback Ty Isaac, who does not appear on the depth chart distributed by Michigan on Monday. When asked for clarification, Harbaugh said it's ''an internal matter.'' Asked for further comment, he said ''I'll keep you posted,'' and, after a pause, added: ''None of your business. That would be another way to say it.''
Michigan faces Rutgers (3-5, 1-5) with a key goal of trying to get its defense back on track against a Scarlet Knights offense that averages nearly 400 yards per game.
After six games, the Wolverines' defense was the top-ranked unit in the country in points allowed (6.3 points), No. 2 in total defense (181.3 yards) and passing yards allowed (115.5 yards) and No. 3 in rushing yards allowed (65.8 yards). In its last two games, Michigan's opponents have scored a combined 33 points and amassed 847 yards, including 645 passing.
The Wolverines have jumped up one spot to No. 2 in the country in rushing yards allowed thanks to the strong play of its defensive line, a group that didn't allow an inch to the Minnesota offensive line on that final play of the game.
After going head-to-head with that line in practice, Michigan offensive lineman Erik Magnuson said he felt sorry for his Golden Gophers counterparts.
''We're pigs, but they're like extreme wild boars,'' he said. ''I feel bad for them. That's a tough situation to be in.''