ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Rutgers seemed over matched in their B10 match up against Michigan. Shea Patterson made easy effort of the Scarlet Knights with three touchdowns in the first half and ran for a fourth score in the third quarter, setting up No. 20 Michigan to beat Rutgers 52-0 on Saturday.
Rutgers had a very difficult time blocking the more athletic and quicker front four of the Wolverines. It was just painful to watch after the first half.
“Michigan did a great job today, controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Offensively we struggled to block them in both the pass game and the run game. It’s a good defensive line, they’re explosive. And then defensively their o-line controlled the line of scrimmage. I thought we did pretty good in the (defensive) run game but pass game we couldn’t even get close to the quarterback. That’s where the game was won and lost up front.’’ Rutgers coach Chris Ash said after the game.
The Wolverines (3-1, 1-1 Big Ten) enjoyed an ego-boosting win following a lack luster performance at Wisconsin.
Rutgers had chances against the Maize and Blue before 110,662 fans at Michigan Stadium.
Art Sitkowski, who struggled last year at the quarterback position, looked sharp while completing eight of 11 passes in the first half. Sitkowski was sacked once, hurried three times, and hit on numerous occasions as the Wolverines kept the Knights off the scoreboard en route to a 24-0 halftime lead.
RU (1-3, 0-2) has not won a conference game since the 2017 season and has to improve a lot to end the drought this year.
Patterson threw a quick out to Nico Collins on the opening drive and the speedy receiver broke a tackle by a poor tackling secondary and darted up the sideline for a 48-yard score. On the Wolverines’ next possession, Patterson had his first of three rushing TDs to match the number of scores the quarterback had previously on the ground in his career.
Patterson played two quarters and was 17 of 23 for 276 yards with one TD and one interception for the afternoon.
Rutgers’s Tre Avery fumbled on the kickoff return to open the second half and Raheem Blackshear was stopped for a loss on a reception at fourth-and-short late in the third quarter. RU was called for a false start twice before punting late in the third and just couldn’t get the offense in gear all game long.
Milton converted a fourth down with a 1-yard TD run for the sophomore’s first score to put the Wolverines up 45-0 early in the fourth. The strong-armed quarterback connected with Giles Jackson on a 23-yard pass in the end zone.
“Everybody wants (Big Ten-caliber offensive linemen). Everybody wants them. It does take time to develop. You gotta go recruit them, you gotta go develop them. And it’s a process. But we need to be able to play better than what we have.’’ Ash said.