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Rutgers vs. N.C. Central gamethread

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It's hard to say how many fans will venture out to the stadium tonight, given the hurricane recovery and uninspiring opponent. Last fall's Norfolk State game was an ugly harbinger of things to come. RU's offense looked completely out of sync in the first half, before their superior athleticism wore down their FCS foe. One game does not doom a season; as WVU similarly toyed with its FCS opponent before pulling away; but the distressing part was that Rutgers displayed similar problems in the rest of their games last year.

Believe it or not, that's a cause for optimism. Rutgers wasn't 4-8 last year because it faced a murderer's row schedule. It was 4-8 because of wholly internal causes. They lost four eminently winnable games by single digits, with the team appearing to throw in the towel the last three weeks as the season suddenly slipped away. If Rutgers gets off to a slow start this year, then you worry, but there's a strong case to be made that those problems won't carry on to this year.

Tonight marks a new direction for Rutgers football. Ideally, there won't be flash or excitement. There's no need to unleash an inter-dimensional Wildcat formation; in fact, there will probably be a mass walk-out the if either RU lines up in the wildcat, or Chas Dodd looks to the sidelines during the game's first five minutes. Nobody wants to see a reminder that RU's offense is so inept that it can't run out of the I formation. That's not what people are looking to see, nor really is Mohamed Sanu turning into Superman or anything of the sort. Keep it vanilla and simple, run the football, rest the starters, and give North Carolina nothing of discernible value that they can use next week.

Beat N.C. Central soundly and thoroughly, without so much as any reason to even bat an eye. Something will be egregiously wrong if anything from tonight even warrants a moment's consideration moving forward.