Make Your Pick: Michigan vs. Rutgers

Michigan absolutely drilled Northern Illinois last week and people are expecting another beatdown against Rutgers.
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Michigan is a 20.5-point favorite over visiting Rutgers tomorrow, which is a really big number against a conference opponent. Still, it feels like Michigan could cover that kind of spread against a team that struggles to stop the run and hasn't really been tested. Rutgers is an impressive 3-0, but the wins have come over Temple, Syracuse and Delaware — not exactly a murderers' row. Michigan should win easily, but what will the score be? We try our hands at figuring that out ourselves...

Chris Breiler

Even though it was an odd season, the Scarlet Knights took the Wolverines to the brink last year - losing a triple-overtime thriller by a score of 48-42. I know that Greg Schiano is a good coach and I feel fairly confident that he's got Rutgers headed in the right direction.

Unfortunately for Schiano, Rutgers is still Rutgers - and Michigan is still Michigan.

With a pivotal matchup against the No. 18 Badgers at Camp Randall just over one week away, I expect Michigan to take a very businesslike approach to Saturday's contest against Rutgers. With rain in the forecast, that probably means a steady dose of Hassan Haskins, Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards - a trio that leads the nations No. 1 rushing attack.

Michigan 38, Rutgers 17

Brandon Brown

I remember how last year's game went in Piscataway, but I'm trying to keep it real here. Rutgers still just isn't a very talented team. Michigan is running the ball at will and, while Rutgers' defense is "salty" per Jim Harbaugh, it's simply not good enough to slow down the Wolverines, in The Big House, in the rain, in front of 110,000 people. 

I think Michigan will eclipse 300 yards rushing for the fourth week in a row and I also think the Wolverines' defense will make it really tough on quarterback Noah Vedral all day long. I actually like Greg Schiano, and I think he'll make Rutgers respectable — you could argue that they already are — but I just think this version of Michigan football has a big advantage over smaller, less talented teams, which is exactly what Rutgers is.

Michigan 42, Rutgers 14

Jacob Cohen

Those who have not laid eyes on this year’s Rutgers team expect a blowout, a game that looks a lot like last week’s Michigan vs. Northern Illinois matchup. And, while those people may not be incorrect about Saturday’s final score, they are skipping a lot of steps to get there.

This Rutgers team is not like those of recent years, at least based off of its first three games; the Scarlet Knights have blown out sub par competition in Temple and Delaware and ground out a Power 5 victory against Syracuse.

The Scarlet Knights have much more going for them heading into Saturday than in previous years, but, ultimately, that won’t matter for the game’s final score. If one thing is true about Big Ten football, it is that games are won and lost in the rushing game. And there is no area in which Michigan enjoys a greater statistical advantage over Rutgers than in the rushing game, both offensive and defensive. Looking at just each team’s star, Rutgers’ starting running back Isaih Pacheco averages just 3.48 yards per carry against three defenses who possess nowhere near the talent and athleticism of Michigan’s defensive front, which itself has only allowed 3.3 yards per carry. That sort of performance won’t cut it against the Wolverines, and, until someone stops him, we’re all left with no choice but to assume that sophomore running back Blake Corum is going to run wild. This game might start close, but it’s not going to end that way. 

Michigan 59, Rutgers 7