Michigan Football: Wolverines Back in Big Ten East Race


A 33-point victory definitely got the wind back in the Michigan Wolverines’ sails, but nothing helped more than seeing MSU fall to Nebraska. MSU’s quarterback Connor Cook summed up the stunning loss the best, as reported by The Detroit Free Press:

“We were so close, had the game in our hands,” Cook said, “and to see it just ripped away like that in that short amount of time, it kind of hurts.”

If that quote was attributed to Jake Rudock after losing to MSU, it would fit perfectly. These rivals have now both suffered painful losses, albeit to teams of different talent levels, but man, the revenge is sweet.

It also puts the Wolverines and Spartans in a second-place tie in the Big Ten East, and both teams are still set to face off against top-ranked (in the Big Ten East) Ohio State, which has fallen to No. 2 in the AP Top 25, this season. Things just got a bit more interesting.

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As for the Rutgers game, the Wolverines’ offense and defense both got back on track. Rudock went 18-for-25 (72%) for a career-high 337 yards. He also threw a season-long 56-yard pass to Jake Butt and tied his season-high of two touchdown passes (and zero interceptions).

Rudock even crushed his previous season-high passing rating of 139.3 with a 211.6 rating Saturday. Butt had 4 receptions on the day, totaling 102 yards, while Amara Darboh had 3 catches for 53 yards. Rushing leaders included De’Veon Smith, who had a TD and 73 yards on 15 attempts, and Drake Johnson, who had a TD and 27 yards on 7 attempts.

The defense held Rutgers to only 16 points (MSU gave up 24 points to Rutgers, FYI), and Chris Wormley recorded a sack. Overall, it was a great performance for the Wolverines.

Running back Ty Isaac, however, did not dress for Saturday’s game because of a “coaching decision,” so that is something to keep on eye on.

Next: Michigan Football: New Year's Day Bowl likely for Wolverines

Next up is Indiana. The team is riding a five-game losing streak after starting 4-0, but the Wolverines can’t write it off completely. The Hoosiers managed to lose by only 9 points to Iowa (9-0) on Saturday, so it is clear they have some talent. The Wolverines travel to Bloomington to face off at 3:30 on Saturday.