The Good, The Bad, & The Bottom Line: Michigan 42, Rutgers 7
Shea Patterson was the biggest difference maker on the field Saturday. Completing 18 passes to six different receivers for 260 yards and three scores. It was the 7th time this season that Patterson finished with an adjusted QBR of 80 or better, the most by a Michigan quarterback in the Harbaugh era (and probably the Hoke and Rodriguez era, too). His 98.1 QBR was 96 points higher than his Rutgers' counter-part. Patterson now has a 17-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio, which is obviously outstanding.
Chris Evans has had a bit of a star-crossed junior season, which is why it was exciting to see him with Michigan's biggest offensive play of the game. A 61-yard touchdown dash up the middle for the game's final points.
Karan Higdon's streak of 100-yard rushing efforts was snapped, but the senior star did rush for two touchdowns while becoming the first Wolverine running back to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing since Fitzgerald Toussaint in 2011.
Redshirt freshman wideout Oliver Martin also caught the first touchdown pass of his career.
And the Wolverines played a relatively clean game in a spot when it would've been easy to lose focus coming off that memorable October gauntlet. Finishing with just two penalties and no turnovers.
When you're playing historic defense for the season, and winning the game by 35 points, there's not much to criticize. So since we have to stretch to find something to single out here anyway, how about giving up an 80-yard touchdown run to Rutgers? Or 193 yards rushing for the game? Furthermore, the Wolverines didn't record a single sack in the game, either. Now, let's put that in perspective. Rutgers only had 253 total yards in the game, which you'd take every single week. But again, when you're playing defense at a historic level, your expectations become skewed.
The Bottom Line
This was the kind of game most expected, with the talent chasm between the two programs mitigating the potential this could be a letdown spot for the Wolverines, coming off a series of emotional victories over more prominent foes. This wasn't the historical beatdown it was two years ago, but a beatdown it was nonetheless. Albeit a business-like one at that. The Wolverines did what they had to do, and now move on to host Indiana in the home-finale and Senior Day next week, with all their goals still in front of them and in their own hands. All they have to do is keep winning.