Freshman QB pushes Michigan past Rutgers 35-14

Freshman quarterback Brandon Peters prepares to launch a pass against Rutgers. (AP Photo / Tony Ding)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Peters rallied the Michigan Wolverines over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 35-14 to celebrate Homecoming at Michigan Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Michigan entered the game as a 24-point favorite with losses in two of its last three outings.

The start was slow on Saturday, as the 25th-ranked Wolverines traded possessions with Rutgers during the opening quarter. Michigan quarterback John O’Korn was plagued by an early interception and a fumble.

The first frame ended in a scoreless deadlock.

The second stanza featured Khalid Hill capping a drive with a 1-yard scoring run for a 7-0 advantage with 12:06 remaining in the period. En route to the touchdown the Wolverines amassed 80 yards in 13 plays over a 6:53 span.

Rutgers came right back to knot the score at 7-all on a 65-yard run as Janarion Grant broke through the middle and then galloped down the right sideline with 10:52 left until halftime. It marked the second consecutive week that the Wolverines have allowed a run of more than 60 yards.

After another O’Korn fumble, Coach Jim Harbaugh inserted Peters into the lineup as Michigan’s quarterback. The freshman signal-caller promptly led the Wolverines 77 yards downfield to their second TD — a 10-yard run by Karan Higdon for a 14-7 lead with 2:49 to go in the first half.

With the clock winding down and showing only 0:23, Peters hit Chris Evans with a 20-yard scoring strike for a 21-7 bulge that held up until intermission.

Michigan came right out of the locker room and scored quickly at the outset of the second half, as Kareem Walker tallied a 5-yard touchdown run for a 28-7 margin at the 11:30 juncture of the third period.

Rutgers retaliated by driving 75 yards in 11 plays for its second score — a 2-yard TD run by Gus Edwards to close to within 28-14 with 7:01 left in the third quarter.

The third period ended that way.

The finale saw Higdon surpass the 1,000-yard rushing mark when he scored on a 49-yard run with 14:10 to go in the game for a 35-14 Wolverine advantage.

That score stood up until the final gun.

Michigan is now 6-2 going into a home date with Minnesota next Saturday night.

Rutgers now stands 3-5 entering next Saturday afternoon’s homefield encounter with Maryland at High Point Solutions Stadium.

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