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2021 Rutgers Football Game Preview #4 at Michigan

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The Scarlet Knights will travel to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan.

Delaware v Rutgers Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

How To Watch, Stream & Listen

Rutgers at Michigan

Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI

Kick-off: Saturday, September 25 at 3:30 PM ET

Weather: 66 degrees, partly cloudy with a 5% chance of rain, 10-15 mph winds

TV: ABC with Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (color), Molly McGrath (sideline)

Radio: RWJBarnabas Health Rutgers Sports Network (WCTC 14-50-AM, WOR 710-AM, XM 389) with Chris Carlin (play-by-play), Julian Pinnix-Odrick (analyst) and Anthony Fucilli (sideline); WRSU 88.7 FM - Dylan McCoy & Jake Schedulemied

Current Spread: Michigan -20.5

Series History: Michigan leads 6-1, last season Michigan defeated Rutgers 48-42 in 3OT

Michigan SB Nation Site: Maize n Brew

Michigan scouting report

Statistical Leaders

Rutgers

Passing: Noah Vedral - 58-for-81, 71.6%, 606 yards, 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

Rushing: Isaih Pacheco - 152 yards on 45 carries, 3.4 ypc, 3 touchdowns

Receiving: Bo Melton - 20 catches for 227 yards, 11.4 ypc, 2 touchdowns

Defense: Olakunle Fatukasi - 28 tackles and 3.5 sacks, Max Melton - 2 interception

Michigan

Passing: Cade McNamara - 24-for-37, 64.9%, 371 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

Rushing: Blake Corum - 407 yards on 48 carries, 8.5 ypc, 7 touchdown

Receiving: Cornelius Johnson - 6 catches for 165 yards, 27.5 ypc, 1 touchdowns

Defense: Josh Ross - 23 tackles, Aidan Hutchinson - 3.5 sacks, Gemon Green - 1 interception

What To Watch For

When Rutgers has the ball

Rutgers and Michigan enter this contest with one thing in common — neither team has turned the ball over. This will be a point of emphasis once again for the Scarlet Knights when they have the ball. If a team had to be picked to turn it over first, Rutgers is the popular choice.

The offense has been far from crisp but last week’s game against Delaware was a bit of a coming out for Noah Vedral. It has been said that the non-conference games to begin the season were important for Rutgers to get its feet wet. After a 3-0 start, they jump right into Big Ten play with one of the hottest teams in the country.

Offensively, it is hard to imagine Rutgers getting anything consistent going in this game. This is especially true with the ground game continuing to struggle. The Scarlet Knights are rushing for 144.3 yards per game and average just 3.3 yards per carry. This is how teams can maintain drives and keep the opposing team on the sideline.

Vedral will have to protect the ball and break a few big plays if Rutgers wants to hang around in this game. Without much of a threat on the ground, it is hard to imagine the Scarlet Knights putting together long drives, especially if Michigan focuses on taking Bo Melton out of the game.

Rutgers is scoring 41 points per game but that is not surprising when looking at its competition. The Wolverines are many steps ahead of the likes of Temple and Delaware.

When Michigan has the ball

Rutgers struggles on the ground but Michigan does not. The Wolverines are rushing for 350.3 yards per game and averaging 7.2 yards per carry. Cade McNamara has not been asked to do too much and he is taking care of the ball well.

The Scarlet Knights will have to go after the Wolverines without Chris Long and Max Melton, who leads the team with two interceptions. The two remain suspended and there is no timetable for a return.

Michigan is going to continue to do what they do best. The Wolverines can wear down the Scarlet Knights on the ground and this will open up plays down the field. This is even more of a factor with the paper-thin depth in the secondary for Rutgers. Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins have been splitting carries tremendously and making every carry count. Expect more three linebacker sets in this game than Rutgers has played so far this season.

Michigan has not been tested yet this season. They also began the year with three non-conference games and made it look easy. This is a chance for Michigan to keep momentum heading into the heart of its Big Ten schedule.

Could Rutgers win this game?

Rutgers is undefeated. There might have been some positivity in our staff predictions but if asked this question — the answer is that anything is possible but most likely no. It would truly be a shock to see Rutgers upset Michigan as a three-touchdown underdog. Instead, fans should be looking for the Scarlet Knights to compete on both sides of the ball. This is one of the toughest environments they will face all season and the overall outcome will be very telling.

Final thoughts

Rutgers at Michigan. A battle of two 3-0 teams and on ABC at 3:30 PM ET, nonetheless. What a time. There is excitement in Piscataway and that will continue if the Scarlet Knights can compete in this game. While it is hard to imagine, anything can happen. Regardless, the build up has been entertaining and Rutgers has a nationally-televised game on Saturday. Schiano is moving this team in the right direction and doing it quicker than expected.