Michigan vs Rutgers score: Wolverines outlast Scarlet Knights in triple overtime for crucial win

Michigan avoided what would have been arguably one of the worst losses of the Jim Harbaugh era, coming back from a first-half deficit and surviving in triple overtime with a 48-42 victory at Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights came into the game as big underdogs, but took a 17-0 lead before a quarterback change saw the Wolverines back into the game. Cade McNamara took over from Joe Milton and the offense regained some life, cutting off the lead before half-time and keeping the pace in a home and away game throughout the second half. McNamara finished with 260 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions on 27 of 36 passes, connecting with Cornelius Jackson for two of those scores and helping guide the offense through those tight possessions in overtime.

But McNamara’s performance off the bench was almost not enough, as Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral was in too much of a hurry to let this upset opportunity slip away from the Scarlet Knights. Vedral literally transported defenders into the end zone on the two-point conversion tied with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation, one play after avoiding defenders in fourth for the touchdown.

He finished with 378 passing yards and three touchdowns, but no yard or score will be as meaningful as those late-settlement games that both sparked Rutgers’ life and cast doubt on a Michigan team that had apparently regained control of the game after half-time.

The first overtime highlighted the chess match between Jim Harbaugh and Greg Schiano. Faced with a fourth and a 2 on the first possession of overtime, Harbaugh decided to attempt a basket that was missed. Then, needing only a basket to win, Rutgers played him conservative in the third and long to avoid turnover and created a favorable spot for his potential winning goal in midfield, to see him also miss. .

Rutgers scored in the very first game of second overtime on a pass from Vedral to Jovani Haskins, but Michigan then responded with a McNamara tying touchdown to force a third overtime. That’s when Hassan Haskins, who led Michigan with 112 rushing yards in the game, jumped over the line in the fourth and goal to score what would prove to be the winning touchdown.

That victory won’t be sealed until Rutgers gets a chance to respond, and Michigan’s interception in the end zone will end the Scarlet Knights’ thwarted offer.

As Michigan clinched the win to move up to 2-3, what remains striking is how much he looked like Rutgers, a team he dominated for most of their time together in the Big Ten. . The Wolverines have now earned six straight wins in the series, but that triple-overtime decision clashes with results like 52-0 in 2019, 42-7 in 2018 or 78-0 in 2016. Conversations over whether if Michigan is heading in the right direction will continue, but with less fervor since the upheaval has been avoided.

What bodes well for Michigan is the emergence of McNamara and the way the offense played out with him leading the charge. Upcoming for the Wolverines are home dates against Penn State and Maryland, both of which offer opportunities to build on Saturday night’s success, ahead of the highly anticipated regular season final against Ohio State.

CBS Sports was with you throughout updating this story with the latest in the game. Keep it locked here for live updates, highlights and more on Saturday night.

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