# 19 Michigan welcomes Rutgers, hoping to end the Big Ten drought

ANN ARBOR, Michigan (AP) – # 19 Michigan enters the Big Ten game trying to focus only on Rutgers, and yet the drought seen at school records conferences is hard to ignore.

The Wolverines (3-0) have not won a Big Ten title since 2004, exceeding the range they had from 1950 to 1964 without a Conference championship.

While Michigan certainly can’t win a championship against Rutgers (3-0) at home on Saturday, a setback would make it difficult for the team to recover from coach Jim Harbaugh in the seventh season.

Wolverine’s defensive back Brad Hawkins said his teammates are fully focused on big goals.

“Just keep winning games that beat teams that many think we can’t beat,” said Hawkins. “Win the Big Ten, get into the playoffs, stuff like that. Just keep growing, proving people they’re wrong. “

The Scarlet Knights have their best start since 2012, a year after Greg Schiano’s final season of his first stint at the school.

“We have to go and show that we belong, and we haven’t done that yet,” said Schiano, who returned to school last year. “We won a couple of games, but like I said, I don’t feel like 2020 was real. I feel like you didn’t get a real picture of every team, but this is real.

“It’s weekends like this that made me want to be in this league. We look forward to the opportunity. We’ll go out there and see how we do. “

Rutgers has not beaten a ranked team since defeating No. 23 in South Florida in 2009.

WHAT A RUSH

Michigan is leading the nation at a rush pace with a tandem of running backs and a line that seems to be getting better every week.

Blake Corum, who leads the nation’s position players with eight touchdowns, is third in the country with 135.7 yards in one game. Hassan Haskins averages 93.7 yards per game.

Corum is the school’s first running back to have three straight 100-yard games on the ground since current assistant coach Mike Hart did it 11 years ago.

SMART FOOTBALL

The Scarlet Knights were penalized with a national low 2.33 times per game and haven’t flipped the ball this year. Likewise, Michigan has not lost a fumble or thrown an interception. The last time Rutgers played four games in a row with no sales was in 1993.

EVALUATION CADE

Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara replaced Joe Milton in play at Rutgers last year and went on to throw four touchdowns and score a 48-42 win in triple overtime.

McNamara has thrown 108 passes without interception in his career. The Wolverines have scored 25 times with 21 touchdowns and four field goals across their 37 estates.

Milton moved to Tennessee and the highly acclaimed newcomer JJ McCarthy fell short in a competition with McNamara.

“I took his chance, took the bit and ran with it,” said Harbaugh. “You have to give Cade a lot of credit for that. For having the strength to intervene, take the bull by the horns and he has not given up. “

THE OTHER QB

Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral has completed 58 of 81 passes for 606 yards and four touchdowns. His graduation rate of 71.6% is 14th nationally and third in the Big Ten. And it’s the highest percentage of completion of a Rutgers quarterback since 2000. Last year Vedral had a career game against the Wolverines with 381 yards passing and three touchdowns.

EXPOSED SECONDARY

Schiano suspended defense attorneys Malachi Melton and Chris Long after they were charged with triple assault and a gun count following an incident in which three people were hit by paintballs fired from a passing vehicle. Melton has returned one of two interceptions for a result this season and Long has played on special teams.

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Follow Larry Lage at https://twitter.com/larrylage

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