clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 Rutgers Football Game: Week 4 Preview at Michigan

Rutgers will travel Ann Arbor for its first road game of the season!

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

How To Watch, Stream & Listen

Michigan at Rutgers

Where: Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI

Kick-off: Saturday, September 23 at 12:00 PM ET

Weather: 74 degrees, sunny with a 8% chance of rain, 10 mph winds

TV: BTN with Cory Provus (play-by-play), Jake Butt (color), and Brooke Fletcher (sideline)

Stream: Fox Sports App

Radio: Radio: RWJBarnabas Health Rutgers Sports Network (WFAN 101.9 FM/660 AM, Fox Sports New Jersey 93.5 FM/1450 AM) with Chris Carlin (play-by-play), Julian Pinnix-Odrick (analyst), and Anthony Fucilli (sideline); WRSU 88.7 FM - Dylan Allen & Eddie Kalegi; Audacy app, SiriusXM 158 or 196, Scarlet Knights app

Series History: Michigan leads all-time 8-1, Wolverines won last meeting 52-17 in 2022

Michigan SB Nation Site: Maize N’ Brew

READ MORE: What to watch for in Week 4 vs. Michigan

Returning Statistical Leaders


Passing: Gavin Wimsatt - 34-for-66, 51.5%, 407 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

Rushing: Kyle Monangai - 357 yards on 58 carries, 6.2 ypc, 5 touchdowns

Receiving: JaQuae Jackson - 5 catches for 99 yards, 19.8 ypc, 0 touchdowns

Defense: Tyreem Powell - 28 tackles; Shaquan Loyal, Mohamed Toure, Tyreem Powell, Rene Konga, Kenny Fletcher, Aaron Lewis, Desmond Igbinosun, Robert Longerbeam - 1 sack; Robert Longerbeam, Shaquan Loyal, Jordan Thompson, Max Melton, Flip Dixon - 1 interception


Passing: J.J. McCarthy - 56-for-68, 82.4%, 701 yards, 7 touchdowns, 3 interceptions

Rushing: Blake Corum - 254 yards on 37 carries, 6.9 ypc, 6 touchdowns

Receiving: Cornelius Johnson - 13 catches for 224 yards, 17.2 ypc, 1 touchdowns

Defense: Junior Colson - 16 tackles, Jaylen Harrell - 2.5 sack, Quinten Johnson, Mike Sainristil, Kris Jenkins - 1 interception

What To Watch For

When Rutgers has the ball

Take care of the football and open up the playbook a bit.

Gavin Wimsatt has not thrown an interception yet this season and he will have to take care of the ball once again this weekend. The Scarlet Knights enter as huge underdogs with no pressure. No one expects them to win the game, which means the team can play loose and free.

Rutgers has run the ball well over the first three weeks but it will be going up against an elite defensive front. The Michigan defense is a different animal than the offense has seen over the first three weeks. Rutgers has been able to take care of the football and sustain drives. That will be the goal on Saturday to keep J.J. McCarthy and Blake Corum off the field.

Kirk Ciarrocca has put the offense in a position to succeed. He has put together a game plan and stuck to it each week, which is exactly what needs to happen with a first-time starter under center. Ciarrocca is experienced in the Big Ten and should be able to put together another plan for Michigan. As good as Kyle Monangai has run the ball, the Scarlet Knights will need to open up the playbook here and put the ball in the air.

This does not have to be too complex. To keep Michigan running laterally, the use of the screen game and the flat will be beneficial. The bottom line is, Rutgers will need to sustain drives and take some time off the clock.

When Michigan has the ball

McCarthy has turned into a first-round pick while Corum returned after being the best running back in the nation last season. The Wolverines have not been that explosive offense of 2022 but the ceiling is high for a team looking to win a national title.

We know what Michigan is going to do. It is going to run the ball at a high level, get McCarthy on the move, and use weapons on the outside. Just because we know what is going to happen doesn't mean that it will be any easier to stop.

In 2021, Rutgers stayed in the game in Ann Arbor thanks to its front making the game ugly. This front seven is more talented than that of two years ago. It is important to remember that Michigan is more talented as a whole as well. The Scarlet Knights will have their hands full with the offensive attack of the Wolverines.

Michigan continues to play a weak non-conference schedule. The defense has allowed just 17 points all season while the offense is consistently playing in the 30s. As Big Ten play begins, it will be interesting to see if Michigan takes a step up from what it has been doing offensively.

Could Rutgers win this game?

Anything is possible applies here, maybe, but do not get your hopes up. The talent gap is still too wide.

Final thoughts

A win here would be the biggest win in program history. That doesn't seem like hyperbole. With that being said, the expectation here is a loss but the team needs to compete. Last season, it was a rout in the second half. Being outscored 38-0 over the final two quarters wipes out the first half. Rutgers needs to cover this game and show a bit of fight against one of the best teams in the nation.