Missed opportunities and drive-killing turnovers. These both contributed to U-M’s 24-17 loss to Utah in Salt Lake City.
With U-M down 17-10 in the fourth quarter and appearing to make a drive, graduate transfer quarterback Jake Rudock makes a crippling interception that was returned for a touchdown to make the score 24-10.
Rudock recovered in the waning minutes of the game with a solid drive and a touchdown pass to Amara Darboh to make the score 24-17. The Wolverines kicked the onside kick out of bounds to end the chances for a comeback. Darboh led the Wolverines in receiving yardage with 101 yards on eight receptions.
Rudock, who won the starting quarterback job in fall camp, struggled mightily. Only throwing five interceptions with Iowa a season ago, he threw three Thursday night, all of which were targeted to true freshman receiver Grant Perry.
Missed opportunities also ruined drives for Rudock as well. Missing both Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh, who were wide-open, for easy scores that could’ve changed the landscape of the game. Including a missed field goal by Kenny Allen, U-M left 17 points on the field on missed opportunities.
The one bright spot for the Wolverines was junior tight end Jake Butt. Who Rudock targeted many times throughout the course of the game and connected for a 19-yard touchdown in the third quarter to get U-M within a score. Butt finished the night with 93 yards on eight receptions.
Despite outgaining Utah in total yards 355-337, U-M was not able to get much done on the ground. De’Veon Smith led the Wolverines with rushing yards with 47 yards.