Top to bottom, there are few similarities between Michigan and Rutgers on the football field. The two teams match up on Saturday afternoon, and the Wolverines are expected to cruise to victory with something of a dominant performance. Still, Michigan isn’t better in every area, according to Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com.
Baumgardner gave Rutgers the edge in comparing the linebacking units for both teams, and he had this to say about Michigan’s group:
Desmond Morgan’s day at Minnesota wasn’t exactly a memorable one for the fifth-year senior. The normally rock-solid Morgan got lost on a wheel route, and couldn’t make a play on a big gainer up the middle earlier in the game. James Ross debuted at buck linebacker, sharing some time with Royce Jenkins-Stone, and still looked like he needs some work there. Also, tackling wasn’t great last week, as Minnesota’s backs were able to turn nothing into something more times than Michigan would probably like.
To be fair, to the Michigan linebacking corps, the strength of the Rutgers defense is undoubtedly their linebackers. Steve Longa ranks second nationally with 91 tackles, and Quentin Gause is no slouch in his own right. Still, the veteran group put forth by DJ Durkin has struggled in recent days, and the evidence is above.
This could be a spot for Michigan’s senior linebackers to “get healthy” against an inferior offense, but nothing is given at this point.