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The Final Word: 3 final thoughts from Michigan's win over Rutgers

It wasn't pretty on Saturday for a good portion of the game but it doesn't have to be when you come away with a win. Michigan utilized a strong second-half performance in a 52-17 rout over Rutgers.

Things were a bit uncomfortable in the first for the Wolverines, where multiple things were going wrong. Those miscues resulted in a three-point halftime deficit for the Wolverines.

Alas, the defense came to play in the second half and neutralized the Scarlet Knights' offense.

Below are three final thoughts from the Wolverines' win over Rutgers/

Michigan is a second-half team

Outside of Michigan getting blown out in the first half, or the Wolverines returning the favor to its opponent, it's almost worth not worrying about what the team does in the first half because all of its damage has come in the second half so far this season.

Whether it's production on offense or on defense, the Wolverines have proven to be strong closers and making their mark when it counts, especially in the third quarter.

Rutgers looked to have its offense rolling in the first half. The Scarlet Knights quickly hit a brick wall in the third quarter with two key interceptions by Michael Barrett, one of which returned for a pick-six. The Wolverines have given up only 6 points total in the third quarter this season, which continued with Rutgers putting up zero in the third, as well as the entire second half.

Again, credit to defensive coordinator Jesse Minter and the staff for consistently having a plan and a response to what teams are throwing at the defense. The timely adjustments have proven to make an already good U-M defense even better.

If that's an "off" day for Blake Corum, Michigan will be fine

While he certainly didn't look like himself out there, if a 100-yard, two-touchdown performance on the day is considered "off" for Blake Corum, then the Wolverines are going to be just fine down the stretch.

With key third-down pickups and a touchdown on fourth down at the goal line, things looked to be easy in the first quarter after a 30-plus-yard touchdown was called back via penalty.

Either way, Corum has rushed for 100 yards in every Big Ten game this season and has looked good doing it. He is tied for the top of the nation in rushing touchdowns and currently leads the nation in points.

Again, if what we Saturday wasn't his best, then Corum is simply on a different level than anyone else.

Rare special teams blunders

While much improved in the second half, the Wolverines had some extremely rare blunders on special teams against Rutgers. From a missed assignment that led to a blocked punt, uncharacteristic penalties and Jake Moody missing multiple field goals (albeit from 50-plus yards), the Wolverines' special teams were far from special on Saturday.

While history under Jay Harbaugh proves that negative trends typically don't happen under his leadership, it's clear that the special teams group will have an uncomfortable film session to watch with things being more fine-tuned in practice this week.