Michigan Gets Back In the Win Column, 3 OT Thriller Over Rutgers

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SHI Stadium, Piscataway, NJ — November 21, 2020

The halftime score of 17-7 with Rutgers leading could have left Michigan fans wringing their hands over yet another loss to a team they should easily defeat. But the seven points came with just 3:26 in the half on a pass from backup quarterback Cade McNamara to Cornelius Johnson for 46 yds. Starter Joe Milton was 5 of 12 for just 89 yards and the Michigan offense was going nowhere. There was hope.

Michigan Quarterback, Cade McNamara. Photo Credit: Corey Perrine / Getty Images

Michigan came into the contest with a 5 game winning streak over Rutgers. Total domination in each game by the scores of 52-0, 42-7, 35-14, 78-0, and 49-16. But, the Scarlet Knights were catching the Wolverines on a down year, and the chance at revenge was real. It would not be easy for Michigan to claw their way back into the game given their performance in recent weeks.

Second Half Comeback

Giles Jackson took the 2nd half kickoff for Michigan and returned it 95 yds for a TD and the comeback was on. Rutgers did not roll over and concede, three plays and a minute later Scarlet Kight quarterback Noah Vedral hit Bo Melton for a 61-yd touchdown pass.

McNamara took advantage of the opportunity afforded him. He answered every salvo Rutgers threw at the Wolverines. Completing 27 of his 36 attempts, McNamara threw for 260 yards and 4 touchdowns, leading Michigan to a 35-35 tie at the end of regulation.

Overtime

Michigan began the 1st overtime on offense, three plays failed to gain a first down and  Quinn Nordin missed a 35-yd field goal attempt. Rutgers with a chance to put the game away also failed to advance the ball and missed a 37-yard field goal.

With Rutgers on offense to start the 2nd overtime, they scored on their first play. Noah Vedral to Jovani Haskins for a 25-yard TD pass. Michigan responded with four plays capped off with a 2-yard McNamara run.

Back on offense, the Wolverines ground out the 25 yards with a Hassan Haskins 1-yard TD run for the score that left Michigan up 41-35 when the two-point conversion attempt failed. Michigan’s defense stiffened and allowed Rutgers just 1 yard on three plays. A fourth-down pass to the corner of the end zone was intercepted, sealing the win for Michigan.

Michigan State’s game with Maryland was canceled as the Terrapins continue to battle a coronavirus outbreak within their program.

Next week, Penn State with a first time ever 0-5 record, visits the “Big House.” The Spartans take on Big Ten West leader Northwestern. Who comes to East Lansing fresh off their 17-7 win over Wisconson.

Big Ten Scores

  • Minnesota 34, Purdue 31
  • Iowa 41, Penn State 21
  • Northwestern 17, Wisconsin 7
  • Illinois 41, Nebraska 23
  • Ohio State 42, Indiana 35
  • Michigan State vs Maryland, Canceled