ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Rutgers got routed.
Jake Rudock threw for two touchdowns and a career-high 337 yards and ran for a score and an eyebrow-raising, 2-point conversion to lead the Wolverines in a 49-16 win over the Scarlet Knights on Saturday.
Rutgers (3-6, 1-5 Big Ten) has lost three straight, giving up at least 48 points in each of the lopsided setbacks to the Wolverines, Wisconsin and top-ranked Ohio State and losing by a combined score of 146-33.
"We've gone through a three-game stretch now playing three of the top five defenses in the country," Flood said. "For us as a program, it's a great vision of where we want to go."
The Scarlet Knights have to close the regular season with three straight wins to be eligible for a fifth consecutive bowl and to perhaps help Flood keep his job.
The Wolverines (7-2, 4-1, No. 17 CFP) were able to coast to an easy victory after wild finishes in their last two games. They beat Minnesota last week on a goal line stand and botched a punt to lose to Michigan State on the final play the week before.
After missing a field goal on the opening drive, Michigan scored TDs on five straight possessions and led 35-16 at halftime.
De'Veon Smith, the sixth Wolverine to score, ran for a 4-yard touchdown early in the third quarter and Rudock sprinted into the end zone on a 2-point conversion to put Michigan up 43-16.
Why did Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh go for 2 with a 25-point lead in the third quarter?
"That's what the chart says to do, so we went with that," he said. "Playing the percentages."
Harbaugh had a lot to be encouraged about, but he was livid about a penalty that negated a 51-yard pass to Butt late in the first half. Michigan was called for unsportsmanlike conduct because of an "intent to deceive," after Butt was uncovered near the sideline far from the formation.
"I'm pretty offended by that," Harbaugh said.
Flood thought it was the right call.
"I didn't think it was legal and the officials did a good job officiating the play," he said.
Flood, though, was not very forthcoming about his reaction to Harbaugh's decision to go for 2 while ahead 41-16.
"I don't get offended by other people's play calls," Flood said. "I'm focused on our team."
And, his team is reeling.
Chris Laviano failed to complete a pass until midway through the second quarter for the Scarlet Knights, who had 53 yards of offense at one point despite Robert Martin's 54-yard run. Laviano finished 11 of 26 for 97 yards with an interception and despite the results, he stayed in the game until midway through the fourth quarter.
"I left Chris in a little bit longer because I think there was a lot to be gained by playing against this defense," Flood said. "You can't simulate what they do on defense in practice."
Rutgers was without standout receiver Leonte Carroo, who has nine receiving TDs, for a second straight week because of an ankle injury. The Scarlet Knights scored their only TD early in the second quarter when Janarion Grant returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score.