Cade McNamara diagnoses second-half offensive woes vs. Rutgers

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Now that he’s had time to settle in after the 20-13 win over Rutgers, not only is it time for Cade McNamara to start focusing on a daunting road game at Wisconsin but to, just as importantly, figure out what went wrong vs. the Scarlet Knights.

McNamara passed for 163 yards on Saturday, but 156 of those yards came in the first half. Against better teams, if the run game isn’t working, passing for just 7 yards in the final half probably won’t cut it.

The redshirt sophomore quarterback has now watched the film, and from his view, what went wrong was mostly being on the wrong side of momentum as a hungry Rutgers team tried to take the game back.

“Looking back, I think it was just a lack of momentum,” McNamara said. “We just couldn’t get something going there in the second half, pass game or run game. We were seeing a couple different things, but overall, just a lack of momentum.”

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McNamara certainly wasn’t the only culprit, as the run game stalled with Rutgers stuffed the box with as many defenders as possible. Michigan did itself no favors by mostly continuing to run into a loaded box, though one of the four-straight three-and-outs to open the half did feature three errant throws.

The Wolverines quarterback is focusing less on the negative and more on the positive when it comes to last week’s game, noting that the first half went to plan while the second did not.

“Overall, in the first half, we were extremely efficient,” McNamara said. “The second half was kind of its own deal. They came out — the film kinda showed it was just a different half, I think. But overall in the first half, we had opportunities to score on almost every single drive, I think. We were extremely efficient and I think that’s where we want to be as an offense.”

But he did touch on the errant throw at the end of the first half, where he missed a wide-open Luke Schoonmaker that would have put seven on the board instead of the three that Michigan ended up settling for.

“The end zone? I just rushed it.”

We’ll see this week if the Wolverines offense can bounce back as it takes on the No. 2 defense in the country in Wisconsin.

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