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Michigan vs. Rutgers score: Wolverines survive the Scarlet Knights in triple overtime for decisive victory



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

The Scarlet Knights went into the game as heavy underdogs, but jumped out to 17-0 before a quarterback change helped bring the Wolverines back into the game. Cade McNamara took over for Joe Milton, and the offense found some life, cut in the lead before the break and kept pace in a back-and-forth game through the second half. McNamara finished with 260 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions at 27-of-36 passes, connecting with Cornelius Jackson for two of those goals and helping steer the offense through these tense overtime possessions.

But McNamara̵

7;s performance from the bench was hardly enough because Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral was too called to let this disturbed opportunity get away from the Scarlet Knights. Vedral literally carried defenders into the final zone on the two-point conversion of the game with less than 30 seconds left in regulation, a game after he avoided defenders at fourth down for touchdown.

He finished with 378 yards passed and three touchdowns, but no yards or scores will be as meaningful as they play at the end of the regulation, both triggering life for Rutgers and sowing the seeds of doubt for a Michigan team that apparently had regained control of the game after the break.

The first overtime put the chess match between Jim Harbaugh and Greg Schiano in focus. Facing a fourth and 2 on the first possession of overtime, Harbaugh decided to try a field goal that was missed. Then, needing only one field goal to win, Rutgers played it conservatively on third and long to avoid the turnover and put a favorable spot for his potential game-winning field goal in the middle of the field, only to see it miss too.

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

This victory would not be sealed until Rutgers got his chance to respond and Michigan’s interception in the final zone put an end to the Scarlet Knights’ disturbed bid.

While Michigan scored the win to improve on 2-3, it’s still striking that it looked like the Rutgers, a team that it has dominated most of their time together in the Big Ten. Wolverines have now won six straight in the series, but this decision on triple overtime stands in contrast to results like 52-0 in 2019, 42-7 in 2018 or 78-0 in 2016. The conversations about whether Michigan is heading in the right direction direction will continue, but with less glow given that the disturbance was avoided.

What bodes well for Michigan is the emergence of McNamara and how the offense played with him leading the charge. Next for the Wolverines are home dates against Penn State and Maryland, both of which provide opportunities to build on Saturday night success before the long-awaited regular season finale against Ohio State.

CBS Sports was with you all the way and updated this story with the latest from the game. Keep it locked here for live updates, highlights and more Saturday night.




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