Nick Baumgardner Detroit Free Press
Published 5:13 PM EST Nov 10, 2018
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Rutgers ripped off one big play.
But Michigan football still is in control on the road.
The Wolverines lead Rutgers, 21-7, at the half Saturday. Here are some early observations:
Rutgers, in the first half, pulled off its longest run since joining the Big Ten Conference. Against the No. 1-ranked defense in America.
The Scarlet Knights got an 80-yard touchdown run from Isaih Pacheco. Chase Winovich got caught peeking into the backfield and Michigan’s safeties took bad angles, allowing Pacheco to tear off into wide open space for the biggest play of the day.
One play 80 yards. The other 17 have gone for 51.
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Despite dealing with serious wind gusts, Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson was mostly on the money during the first half.
He went 13 of 19 for 155 yards and a touchdown, a 36-yarder to Nico Collins. And that’s with a pair of dropped passes — one in the end zone by Oliver Martin and one from Donovan Peoples-Jones on a deep shot where he adjusted well to the ball in the air but couldn’t quite hang on.
Patterson has been accurate with intermediate throws and has had open receivers pretty much all day.
Yards to be had
Michigan’s offense is halfway to 500 yards here at the break, as the Wolverines have been able to do just about anything they want on the ground and through the air through 30 minutes.
The Wolverines did have another lengthy drive stall on the first possession of the game, when Rutgers stopped the Wolverines on fourth-and-1 in the red zone.
But for the most part offensively, Michigan has done whatever it has wanted.
Michigan’s 5 of 8 on third down. With 39 first-half yards, Karan Higdon is now at 1,001 for the season.
Michigan is playing today without defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon, and starting safety Josh Metellus is on the sideline in uniform, but hasn’t played.
Metellus was on the field for warmups, but sophomore Brad Hawkins has been on the field all game.
Michigan cornerback Lavert Hill left the game in the second quarter with an undisclosed injury and has not returned.
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