ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After struggling the past two games offensively, Michigan’s offense looked like a well-oiled machine Saturday evening -- with six different Wolverines scoring at least one touchdown -- as No. 16 U-M defeated Rutgers 49-16 at Michigan stadium.
U-M quarterback Jake Rudock played arguably his most efficient game this season, throwing for a career-high 337 yards passing, completing 18-of-25 passes with three total touchdowns.
No. 16 Michigan (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) outgained Rutgers 487-225, finishing with 25 first downs.
Jake Butt finished with a career-high 102 yards receiving, including career-long reception of 56 yards. Amara Darbaoh and Jehu Chesson each caught a touchdown pass, with 10 different Wolverines finishing with at least one catch.
De’Veon Smith finished with 73 yards and one touchdown. Drake Johnson and Rudock each had a rushing touchdown.
Again, U-M defensive back Jabrill Peppers made an impact offensively, scoring on an 18-yard lateral touchdown run in the second quarter. He’s scored a rushing touchdown in back-to-back games, the first two of his career.
"The touchdown that Jabrill scored on we threw the bubble to him and it was diagnosed really well by the defense," U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game. "They were across the field and across the line of scrimmage before he caught the ball. I thought that play was trapped behind the line of scrimmage. The move he made and the way he weaved himself through there, I mean, I knew he was good. But he's really, really good. I thought that there wasn't another rung to go on the ladder, there is. He found another rung to go even higher, I told him that. I said, 'man, you're good. You're really good.'"
Rutgers’ (3-6, 1-5) offense was never able to get in rhythm, and that had a large part due to U-M’s No. 2-ranked defense, which never let Scarlet Knights score an offensive touchdown, holding them to only 17 first downs.
"Our redzone defense was outstanding again today," Harbaugh said. "That's been something that's really been good for us. Our defensive coaches do a tremendous job, I don't know if anybody is doing a better job of playing defense in the redzone. Couple of times when they had the ball in the scoring area inside the 20 and we only allowed field goals. The only touchdown came on the kickoff return so that's very impressive to me."
Scarlet Knights quarterback Chris Laviano finished with 96 yards passing, completing 11-of-26 passes with one interception. Rutgers lone touchdown came on a Janarion Grant 98-yard kickoff return mid-way through the second quarter, his fourth return for a score this season.
U-M’s past two games came down to its final play. Today, the game was never in doubt, as U-M led by 35-16 at halftime, outgaining Rutgers 304-105.
With two pass break ups against Rutgers, Jourdan Lewis now has 19 pass break-ups on the season, a new U-M single-season record.