Saturday, September 30, 2017

Rutgers Football Gameday!

OK, we know. We all now what today is and who is coming to town tonight. Urban Meyer and the Columbus Eleven arrive and everything we know, read or feel tells us the Buckeyes should have little trouble with Rutgers tonight in Piscataway.

Or does it?

Harken back a couple years ago when Michigan State came into RU for a Saturday night game, ranked #4 in the country and they barely escaped (and were helped with the spiked 4th down pass). Rutgers came up with a magnificent effort, a loud crowd and a belief that once the game got to the 4th quarter they COULD win it. How does that scenario come back around tonight? Let's look.

MSU came into that game with a decimated O-line and lost #1 RB Madre London on the first drive. Ohio State comes in healthy up front (So key) but with some vulnerabilities shown by Oklahoma. It wasn't that the Sooners had superior talent, they had a better scheme. How about it Chris Ash, here's your chance to gameplan a masterpiece. Gotta have it. The Scarlet Knights do have a talent deficiency tonight, its gotta be a great gameplan.

That night against MSU, Rutgers was on attack all night long on defense. They didn't seem to worry if the Spartans hit a big play. They kept coming and you could feel the defense build off of the confidence the coaches had in them. J.T. Barrett is the key and he can do a lot of things well, RU needs to keep him uncomfortable by doing things Rutgers doesn't normally do. Look, if you get buried 55-7 you do, the Bucks are are going to try to run up any score to get back in the playoff discussion. RU has to try something different OSU hasn't seen.

Let's use Michigan State in another way, how they beat OSU in Columbus a couple years back. Low scoring, ball control. MSU always plays OSU tough because they stop the run. In the 2013 Big Ten title game and in Columbus Sparty stuffed the OSU running game and made them pass. They contained the run in a 17-16 loss to Brutus last year. See they key? Running game. 100 yards allowed on the ground is the number the Scarlet Knight defense must keep in mind.

We'd say a couple years back MSU was looking past Rutgers to Michigan (the famed botched punt game) but OSU next week plays Maryland, not a top tier opponent so probably not advantage RU.

Our biggest worry is the Rutgers offense laying an egg. No, an egg. 13 points vs EMU makes nobody confident. Johnny said last week vs Nebraska that RU needed a defensive score to help them keep it close, they got that. Tonight we think they'll need a defensive score, a special teams score and maybe a blocked kick, the holy trinity.

So, yeah, it doesn't look good and right now all RU fans have to go on is faith and hope one day it turns around. A giant upset would help, especially tonight at home. As positive as Johnny tries to be with the RU football program in his Fearless Forecasts, tonight, well, let's just say no golf cart pizza for Urban:

Ohio State 42
Rutgers 16

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