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Detroit News scouting report: Michigan at Rutgers

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Michigan at Rutgers

Kickoff: 7:30 Saturday, SHI Stadium, Piscataway, New Jersey

TV/radio: BTN/950

Records: Michigan 1-3, Rutgers 1-3

Line: Michigan by 11.5

Angelique S. Chengelis of The Detroit News breaks down the Wolverines’ game against the Scarlet Knights:

Bo Melton

Key matchup


Melton, who leads the Rutgers offense with 26 starts, is ranked second in the Big Ten with four receiving touchdowns and is fifth with 334 receiving yards. He is coming off a career-high 150 yards against Illinois last weekend, including a 66-yard touchdown reception. Melton has been the Scarlet Knights’ go-to receiver and has at least four catches in each game and has had a reception in 16 consecutive games. This season, Melton had had a first down or touchdown on 14 of 20 catches. Michigan struggled against the pass during losses to Michigan State and Indiana, so undoubtedly Rutgers will try to take advantage matching up against the Wolverines’ secondary.

Scarlet Knights to watch

Noah Vedral, QB: Rutgers’ starting quarterback is fourth in the Big Ten with 20.5 completions per game and has three games with more than 20 completions this season. Vedral threw two touchdowns last weekend against Illinois, including a career-long 66-yard completion to Bo Melton, and he has five TDs this season and six in his career. In the win against Michigan State, he had a career-long 24-yard rushing touchdown and threw a 14-yard TD.

Isaih Pacheco

Isaih Pacheco, RB: Pacheco is sixth in the Big Ten with 5.2 yards per carry and is coming off a season-best 133 rushing yards against Illinois for his sixth career game reaching triple digits dating back to 2018. He has 12 career rushes of at least 20 yards and three of 50 or more, with career-best being an 80-yarder for a touchdown against Michigan last season, the longest run by a true freshman in program history. In the opener against Michigan State, Pacheco scored two touchdowns and has 12 career rushing touchdowns. He is tied for the team lead this season with 10 rushing first downs and also set career highs with five receptions and 37 yards at MSU.

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Mohamed Toure, LB: He leads Rutgers and is tied for second in the Big Ten with three sacks. Against Michigan State in the opener, Toure forced two fumbles on two sacks and also had a pass deflection. He became the first Scarlet Knight with two sacks in a game since Julian Pinnix-Odrick versus Howard in 2016. Toure also is the first player Rutgers player with at least two sacks and two forced fumbles in a game since Ramel Meekins (two sacks, three forced fumbles) at Navy in 2006.

Facts and figures

►This will be Rutgers’ second night game in three weeks and Michigan’s second straight night game and third of the season. The Wolverines have won five straight against the Scarlet Knights since losing the first meeting in 2014, Rutgers' first Big Ten victory.

►Rutgers has scored at least 20 points in all four Big Ten games this season after reaching the mark only five times in the previous 36 conference games and 12 times in the first 52 league games since joining the Big Ten. The last time Rutgers had 20 or more points in four consecutive conference games was in 2011 as a member of the Big East.

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►The Scarlet Knights have scored 14 touchdowns through the first four weeks this season, more than doubling the six scored in nine conference games last season. On the defensive side, Rutgers leads the Big Ten with 32 tackles for loss and is ranked 17th nationally at eight per game. Linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi is the Big Ten leader with 50 tackles overall.