ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Shea Patterson accounted for three touchdowns in the first half and ran for a fourth score in the third quarter, setting up No. 20 Michigan to rout Rutgers 52-0 on Saturday.
The Wolverines (3-1, 1-1 Big Ten) enjoyed a confidence-boosting win following a humiliating loss at Wisconsin.
The Scarlet Knights (1-3, 0-2) have not won a conference game since the 2017 season and have to improve a lot to end the drought this year.
Patterson threw a quick out to Nico Collins on the opening drive and the receiver broke a tackle and sprinted up the sideline for a 48-yard score. On Michigan’s next drive, Patterson had his first of three rushing TDs to match the number of scores the dual-threat quarterback had previously on the ground in his career.
Patterson played two-plus quarters and was 17 of 23 for 276 yards with one TD and one interception.
The Wolverines led 24-0 at halftime and took advantage of Rutgers getting off to a rough start in the second half.
Tre Avery fumbled on the kickoff return to open the second half and Raheem Blackshear was stopped for a loss on a reception on a fourth-and-1 later in the third quarter. The Scarlet Knights were called for a false start twice before punting late in the third.
Michigan showed some mercy by taking Patterson out of the game late in the third and gave Joe Milton some much-needed experience with Dylan McCaffrey out with a concussion.
Milton converted a fourth down with a 1-yard TD run for the sophomore’s first score to put the Wolverines up 45-0 early in the fourth. The strong-armed quarterback connected with Giles Jackson on a 23-yard pass in the end zone.
Rutgers: Chris Ash fell to 8-32 in his fourth season. The coach faces a tough task, improving his team enough on both sides of the ball and special teams to compete enough to potentially win Big Ten games. Ash has not led the Scarlet Knights to a Big Ten victory since beating Maryland on Nov. 4, 2017.
Michigan: The offense desperately needed a day like that, moving the ball efficiently on the ground and through the air while limiting turnovers to one interception on a pass Patterson underthrew intended for Collins. Next week, however, will be more of a test against No. 14 Iowa.
Michigan may move back up in the poll a little after plummeting following a 35-14 loss to the Badgers.
Rutgers: Hosts the Terrapins, who are coming off a 59-0 loss to No. 12 Penn State at home.
Michigan: Plays the Hawkeyes at home.