PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Jabrill Peppers ran for a career-high two touchdowns and set up another score with a 63-yard scamper in his return to his native New Jersey and No. 4 Michigan routed Rutgers 78-0 Saturday night in a game in which the Scarlet Knights were limited to 22 yards total yards and two first downs.
Peppers had scoring runs of 7 and 4 yards after taking direct snaps, and his career-long run midway through the first quarter paved the way to a 4-yard touchdown run by Ty Isaac for the first score of the game.
It could have been a better day for the junior who has played 12 positions for Michigan (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) this season. He had a 44-yard punt return for a first-quarter touchdown nullified by an illegal block.
Wolverines are 6-0 for the first time since 2011 That team finished 11-2.
Rutgers (2-4, 0-3) has lost three straight, with the last two being embarrassing for new coach Chris Ash. No. 2 Ohio State beat the Scarlet Knights 58-0 last weekend, holding them to 116 yards in total offense.
This was worse, and seeing Peppers come home and put up a highlight reel added to the woe for the crowd of 53,292.
Rutgers did not get a first down until Trey Sneed had a 12-yard run with 9:06 left in the fourth quarter.
The 78-0 loss was Rutgers worst since an 82-0 setback against Princeton in 1888.
Khalid Hill tallied twice from a yard out and caught an 11-yard pass from backup quarterback John O’Korn early in the third quarter. Jehu Chesson had the best catch of the rainy night, diving to catch a 30-yard touchdown pass from Wilton Speight in the first quarter.
Karan Higdon added touchdown runs of 15 and 44 yards, Bobby Henderson tallied from 13 and Isaac capped the scoring with a 34-yarder for his second of the game.
Michigan: If Michigan wanted to make a statement to New Jersey recruits of where to play, coach Jim Harbaugh is going to get a ton of players from the Garden State. He has nine already. Peppers also made a statement for the Heisman rushing for a career high 74 yards on three carries and finishing with two tackles and a quarterback pressure.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights are making a run for the worst team in the Power Five. Instead of getting better as the season progresses, the offense has gone downhill since Janarion Grant was hurt against Iowa. This was so bad Michael Cintron punted 16 times.
ALMOST: Rutgers thought it scored on the final play of the third quarter on a 75-yard interception return by Deonte Roberts. A review showed the ball hit the ground and it was overturned.
FISTS: About eight Michigan players raised their fists during the national anthem.
POINTS: The point total was the most for Michigan since 2010, when it had 67 against Illniois. It was the most given up by Rutgers since surrendering 69 against Cincinnati that same season.
Michigan: has a bye before playing at home against Illinois on Oct. 22.
Rutgers: The competition level dips as Illinois comes to the birthplace of college football on Oct. 15.