Quick look at Michigan’s next opponent Rutgers, who just suffered a heartbreaking loss
Head coach Greg Schiano’s second stint at Rutgers couldn’t have started better.
The Scarlet Knights opened 2020 with a 38-27 victory over Michigan State – their first Big Ten victory since 2017.
While Rutgers has had some exciting times in all three games since, such as a few successful rounds against Ohio State, he has lost all three. The last loss came on Saturday against Illinois, who entered the game after falling 117-45 when they started 0-3.
The Scarlet Knights, who face Michigan at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, took a 20-10 lead with 7:43 left in the third quarter, but Illinois rallied to win 23-20 on a winning field goal of 47 yards with 3 seconds remaining.
Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral, a transfer from Nebraska, struggled with three second-half interceptions, including one in the final two minutes that saw Illinois win the game.
Vedral completed 63 percent of his passes and pitched for 725 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions. While Schiano could look to last year’s starter Artur Sitkowski, he said on Monday that Vedral, who also passes for 256 yards and two goals against Illinois, will remain behind center against Michigan.
“That’s the challenge, I think, to get Noah to see and understand this better, to anticipate that,” said Schiano, who led Rutgers to a 68-67 record and six bowl games from 2001 to 2011. before being rehired last December. “On a related note, he made several games which were really big games. So, again, we manage the opportunity. He needs to do a little better to manage the risk.
The Scarlet Knights defense had no response to Illinois’ rushing offense, allowing for 338 rushing yards. Quarterback Isaiah Williams, who started again as Brandon Peters remains in COVID-19 protocol, led the way with 192 yards and a score on 31 attempts.
Rutgers also picked up a few costly penalties and was flagged seven times for 56 yards.
“We had penalties that just aren’t what we allow in our schedule,” said Schiano. “One of them, this drive led to a score. … These catch up with you when they catch up with you. You can’t do that stuff.
Rutgers and Michigan (1-3) will both look to end a three-game losing streak on Saturday. The Wolverines have won five of six all-time meetings.
“We have to fix this problem,” Schiano said. “It’s part of developing a program.
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