Rudock 'Manages' U-M Offense in 35-7 Win

Michigan senior quarterback Jake Rudock couldn't avoid turnovers for a second straight week but relied on a strong rushing attack and spread the ball around in an efficient 35-7 win over Oregon State Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor.

Eager to bounce back after a three interception performance in week one, Michigan senior quarterback Jake Rudock started slow in Saturday's home opener against Oregon State.

After the Beavers quickly worked it's way down the field for seven-points on the Wolverines' defense to start the game, Rudock gave the ball right back with a sack fumble on the third offensive snap.

Fortunately for Rudock Michigan's defense handled the sudden change situation well as Taco Charlton poked the ball loose and into the waiting hands of Joe Bolden for a fumble going the other way.

Disaster avoided.

From there, Rudock settled in nicely in his second start at Michigan completing 18-of-26 passes for 180-yards, despite throwing an interception late. The Wolverines run away from Oregon State to secure the 35-7 win, the first for Jim Harbaugh as head coach in Ann Arbor.

"We got the win," Rudock said afterward. "That's always the most important thing. Obviously there's always passes you want back and have a better completion percentage but we got the win and it's a big tribute to the offensive linemen and De'Veon (Smith) and our running backs."

Michigan's rushing attack emerged as if from nowhere as Smith found the end zone three times, gaining 126-yards on 23 carries.

Controlling the clock and moving the ball up and down the field, particularly in the second half, Rudock again drew praise from Harbaugh post game.

"Game wise he made some big plays," Harbaugh said. "Jake again, managed the team, ran the game, made appropriate throws, big fourth down play. When I look back I'll say that was a cool headed decision, especially."

That fourth down Harbaugh was referring to came early in the second quarter. Sitting on the Oregon State 28 yard line, Rudock needed five-yards to keep the lengthy Michigan drive alive.

Sifting through his options, Rudock eventually found a wide open Smith leaking out of the backfield for a 20-yard gain to the Beavers' eight yard line. The Wolverines would score two plays later on a run by Smith to take it's first lead of the 2015 season.

"He was the later choice," Rudock said. "It was one of those where I went through the progression, one, two and De'Veon pops wide open so just give him the ball, we only needed five yards."

The two turnovers stand as the only two real blemishes on Rudock's final stat line, something he said he'll dread looking at when watching the film this week.

Up 27-7 in the fourth quarter, Rudock's interception didn't prove costly for Michigan with the defense holding Oregon State's offense to just 138-yards of total offense and seven points.

Still, with five turnovers over his first two games of the season, his coach was quick to point out that'll need to change.

"He has to have better ball security in the pocket," Harbaugh said. "We were hot on the protection and he felt the defender near him, he's got to secure the ball. He had it away from his body. We had the turnover on that particular play.

"The interception, didn't like that and he's got to have a wider vision of the area he's throwing and he got locked into the receiver. He had that interception in practice too so I kick myself for calling that play."

Although it was the first start inside the big house for Rudock, it was actually the second time coming down the tunnel, previously as a member of the Iowa Hawkeyes.

With 109,651 in attendance for Saturday's 35-7 win, Rudock enjoyed the experience and the victory.

"The fans did a great job," Rudock said. "You look up once in a while and see the seats filled and then you know how many people are there, it's deceptive. The fans were really energetic, student section was going crazy and that's always a good thing."

Michigan (1-1) now welcomes in UNLV next Saturday for another noon kickoff.

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