PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Cue the Cumberland College comments. Somewhere around the start of the fourth quarter of Michigan’s 78-0 win Saturday night at Rutgers, many began to evoke the name of the team that suffered the most lopsided loss in college football history.
On Oct. 7, 1916, Georgia Tech trampled a rag-tag team of fraternity brothers from Cumberland, 222-0. Saturday’s Big Ten Conference matchup between Rutgers and Michigan wasn’t necessarily David versus Goliath, or the Harlem Globetrotters versus the Washington Generals. These are FBS programs, after all.
But when Michigan (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten Conference) eclipsed the 50-point mark less than five minutes into the third quarter on Khalid Hill’s second touchdown, an 11-yard pass from John O’Korn, one had to wonder if someone, or if a higher power, was going to take some mercy and switch the game to a running clock. Or if Michigan was going to crack triple digits.
It seemed quite possible, given that Michigan’s depth continued to find holes in Rutgers.
By the time the game ended, Rutgers finished with two first downs, 39 yards of offense and 603 yards — on punts by Michael Cintron.
And zero points.
Rutgers hasn’t scored a touchdown since Sept. 24, in a 14-7 loss to Iowa.
Michigan, meanwhile, is scoring touchdowns by the bushel, finishing with 11 against the Scarlet Knights. According to Michigan’s media relations department, Saturday’s game was Michigan’s largest-ever margin of victory in a conference game. Previously, Michigan defeated Northwestern 69-0 in 1975.
Michigan was all smiles during its postgame interviews. What team wouldn’t be, following a rout of a team and of a program that had its students tear down the goalposts following Rutgers’ 26-24 win over Michigan two years ago at High Point Solutions Stadium?
Michigan linebacker Ben Gedeon remembers what it was like to watch that happen.
“We’ve been there,” Gedeon, a senior, said, “and we were going to do anything not to have that happen again. We definitely had something fueling us there.”
For the second week in a row, Rutgers now knows what that’s like.
“We didn’t get a first down until late in the game,” first-year Rutgers coach Chris Ash said. “You go 2-of-18 passing the ball, you gave up 481 yards rushing, that’s what happens.”
“We lost a game. It’s an ugly game.”