Game 10 Preview: One Last Shot at Greatness

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers gets one final chance to show the nation what they're made of.

The Scarlet Knights plays on Thursday night. I know, I know. You would probably rather watch a colonoscopy than the Rutgers football team right now, but a win actually has implications on the postseason for the program: current projections have Rutgers playing Notre Dame in the Pinstripe Bowl! Wait! Come back! I promise it'll be entertaining, and you get swag of some kind.

All kidding aside, what can we expect against the Knights of Orlando?

The Matchup

UCF apparently has some stud at quarterback this season, Blake something-or-other. He's pretty dang good: 19th in passing yards per game, 9th in completion percentage, 7th in passer rating. Bortles has thrown for 2484 yards, 19 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He is a junior, which means he has experience to boot.

TL;DR - The Rutgers secondary is in trouble (again).

This is the last game of the season against upscale competition, and it's on national television, so look for the coaches to break out all the trick plays for this one. UCF is pretty much a good team all around, so don't expect a lot of them to work. The Knights of Orlando boast a top-25 scoring and rushing defense, and they haven't exactly had an easy schedule. Wins against Penn State and Louisville and a close loss to South Carolina prove that UCF is for real. Furthermore, after a close call against lowly Temple, expect them to be in a rage to get style points for the BCS.

If getting picked apart by Blake Bortles doesn't tickle your fancy, the Knights have a pretty good running back in Storm Johnson too (not to mention one of the better football names I've seen this year). The junior RB is first in the American with 93 rushing yards per game, which is more bad news for a Rutgers defense that is regressing against the rush. George O'Leary has finally put a complete season together with all of the talent he's accumulated over the years, and it's culminating in a very impressive BCS run.

Where is UCF vulnerable? Why, passing defense of course. And of course one of the major weaknesses of this Rutgers team is quarterback. If you want to be optimistic for a second, you can remember Gary Nova and his performances against Arkansas and Temple, realize that it's Thursday night and anything can happen, and also that Flood could actually have a legitimate gameplan for this week. I'm not saying don't believe them, but I'd be hard-pressed to have a good amount of faith in any of those prognostications.

The Prediction

This one won't be pretty, folks. If I had a piece of advice, it would be to try not to hope for a bad loss so Kyle Flood gets fired. This isn't the NFL where the worst team gets the first pick. Flood's future is already looking grim, so just let the course of the season play itself out naturally. For one thing, it would be nice for one last great memory in awhile for the Rutgers football team, and this Thursday is an opportunity for that to happen. Realistically, that will not happen. I don't think it's as bad as people expect, but it won't be very good either. UCF over Rutgers, 43-20.

What do you think? Will it be a blowout, or will Rutgers put up a fight? Leave your predictions and comments below.

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