Michigan at Rutgers
Saturday, 4 pm PT - ESPN2
CRIS Opener: Michigan -25.5 O/U 56
CRIS Current: Michigan -30 O/U 53
Recommendation: First half over
With the exception of last week's 14-7 win over Wisconsin, Michigan has played the role of bully this season with wins by 39, 17, 37, and 60. There were 149 points score in the first half of those four games (37.3 avg) with a vast majority courtesy of the Wolverines. Head coach Jim Harbaugh came into the season with a reputation of playing it vanilla with a big lead. This year, he's been far more aggressive. We've even seen multiple instance in which backup quarterback John O'Korn entered the game late during a blowout and proceeded to take shots down field.
This week's opponent, Rutgers, offers another opportunity to “name the score.” The Scarlet Knights managed just seven points against Iowa and were shutout last week in Columbus, 58-0. Chris Ash has his work cut out for him and it's tough to envision his squad having much success in this contest. And while much of the focus is on the offense's struggles, the Scarlet Knights' defense has been equally dismal. Washington rang up 6.44 yards per play and 48 points and Ohio State posted 7.52 ypp. Even New Mexico was able to move the ball with relative ease: 5.78 ypp and 28 points.
This is a unique spot for Michigan being its first road game and a bye week on deck. I think it sets up well for a "get a big lead and go home" type contest. Look for Michigan to jump out early and with even a lone FG by Rutgers, the first half over looks to be in play.