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Can Rutgers show progress compared to Michigan? Why is the game of Ohio State relevant?

Michigan's defense is second to none this season, but Rutgers should keep an eye out for the Wolverines' rival when assessing the offensive performances in Saturday's game.

The Scarlet Knights have resisted pretty much every defense they faced this season – Rutgers is 1-8 for one reason – but they have not been # 1 with blue-chip players since week 2 NFL caliber loaded. 4 Ohio State.

This game was a disaster – a 52: 3 defeat, when real freshman quarterback Artur Sitkowski was almost split in half.

No one expects this contest against No. 4 Michigan, which starts 3: 4. 30 o'clock at the HighPoint.com Stadium in Piscataway to be much better. The Wolverines have the nation's # 1

defense line and were 37.5-point favorites on Saturday morning, the biggest street favorite of a big-ten intra-conference game since 1978. But Rutgers will be able to finish the game with some grip The progress or absence of which has made his offense in the last two months.

"Our goal now is simply to play better football," said head coach Chris Ash. "We really want to play the best football down here, we want to do that, Michigan is a great football team, they're playing a lot right now and so are we, it's our program to play, and it's our goal We'll see what happens when it's over. "

The first moments Rutgers lost to the Buckeyes in Columbus on September 8, Ohio, said. It was the offensive coordinator John McNulty's second game back, and really his first after a 35-7 season opener over Texas State.

Rutgers came out splashing. This approach went nowhere and soon cooled off. It almost felt as if the Scarlet Knights were completely overwhelmed by the blackening attack of the Buckeyes and had little choice but to throw their unplayable board out the window.

McNulty did not confirm but confirmed this The game served him in his first college season after ten years in the NFL as an "educational process".

"I think I had a bit different, I do not know, expectation," McNulty said. "I thought," OK, those are some good plans that will cause them problems and we will be able to do them. "

" And then you come into play and go, "These people move a little faster than they looked on tape."

John McNulty goes through Michigan's "hellish" defense

Rutgers only managed 134 yards The Buckeyes, averaging 2.2 meters per game, did little until the game reached the garbage Even then, the Scarlet Knights did not do much, and McNulty said one of the problems with the state of Ohio is the lack of feature film that breaks down. That will not be a problem here, but Rutgers does not necessarily like what it sees when it turns the tape on.

"You'll be fine. They expect it to be a very well-trained football team that is fast and physical. You know what to expect this time, "said Quarterback Artur Sitkowski. Everything has to be a bit faster, but your mind needs to be a bit slower. "

" It will be an obvious challenge for us. I can not wait to wait for the game and our offense is coming in and playing great football. "

It will certainly be a whale test." Michigan has the best defense of the nation with a clear margin.

The Wolverines have averaged 216.2 yards per game, with Miami scoring 264.7 yards per game Michigan also has the nation's best pass score (122.3 yards per game, nearly 19 yards less than Miami No. 2).

The Wolverines are fifth in defense and eighth in quick defense and third in defense Michigan ranks eighth in the nation, has the fewest games allowed by more than 10 yards of all FBS teams, and has held its last three opponents – Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State – at 13 points or less and the last two seven points.

Now, Rutgers has a chance to see how far he has come since the game in Ohio.

"I think we're fine," McNulty said. "Our boys are going out and play their back teams. They do it every week. We have to make sure that, as a staff, we give them the best chance of succeeding to play. They try to bring some of them together and next you know you played a few tunes, and so it goes.

"But it's definitely as challenging as mine."

James Kratch can be reached at jkratch @ njadvancemedia .com: Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch . Find NJ.com Rutgers Football on Facebook.

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