Saturday, October 28, 2017

Rutgers football Gameday!

Here we are with our little Rutgers Gameday thread and on a two game winning-streak to boot! That's right, a two game Big Ten winning-streak which makes today's game that much more enjoyable if you allow yourselves to dream RU fans. Why, a win today would level the Scarlet Knights record at 4-4 and move them into fourth place ahead of Michigan in the B1G East and people might just start thinking bowl game.

But first, Michigan, in the People's Republic of Ann Arbor today at noon. Let's take a look-see.

The Detroit and SE Michigan media are not being very kind to Jim Harbaugh. They've started pointing out he's the third highest paid coach in NCAA football and they expect more than a 1-4 record vs MSU and OSU and fourth place in the B1G East.. Getting waxed by other B1G teams doesn't help. So no doubt after he does his "Who's got it better than us" song to the team, the Wolverines will run through that tunnel expecting a big bounce back and an easy Homecoming win. Will they get it?

Can Rutgers stop Michigan from running and setting up play action? Can the RU corners spend one great afternoon this year playing like flypaper? That's what it's gonna take friends. We don't think the RU offense will get that much going consistently enough to scare Michigan, even with their pop-gun offense. Defense defense defense must be the order of the day. Somehow Chris Ash's charges must keep Michigan 17 points or under and under 100 yards rushing. Sure, it's a tall order but that's what great wins are made from.

At some point Michigan is going to want to get their next big thing QB of the future Brandon Peters onto the field. RU will see him one of two ways, John O'Korn is awful and inefficient like he was in the rain vs. Michigan State OR he'll come in with Michigan comfortably ahead. Gonna be up to Rutgers to see how that plays out. Either way, expect Jim Harbaugh to find Peters some game time today. Know who else will see the field a LOT? Karan Higdon, Michigan's bell cow running back. He's probably ready to run through walls about now knowing he'll be a big part of Michigan's game planning. Watch what kind of first quarter numbers he puts up. Good or bad it may start to tell what kind of game this will be. The most successful Jim Harbaugh, the Stanford and early Michigan Jim Harbaugh pounded the ball behind a mammoth offensive line and took no prisoners. Two and three tight ends, fullbacks, it was big and imposing. If Michigan starts with long passes and reverses and special teams trickery it would seem he's playing to his critics.

It's just a fact the Wolverines are bigger and stronger in those trenches with many more impact players and important positions. They have a coach ESPN cannot shut up about. They have the history.

So why are they 6-5 their last 11 games?

THAT right there is what RU has to tap into to get the win. Doubt in Michigan's minds. Right now, for the first time really in Johnny's life, Michigan is waiting for something bad to happen near the ends of games. Been that way since the RichRod days. Rutgers cannot afford getting down 14-0 or 17-3 in the first half and make today work. While current Minnesota and former Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck preaches rowing the boat, RU today must "sow that doubt" all around Michigan Stadium. Easier said than done.

When all is said and done in Ann Arbor, and the fans have moved on to Zingermann's or The Real Seafood company, the Mongolian Bar-B-Que or the White Castle on Carpenter and Packard, how does this one play out Johnny, and what about that two game winning streak?

Fearless Forecast
Michigan 30
Rutgers 14

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