Another blowout loss for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers was completely embarrassed in every phase of the game today as they fell to the Michigan State Spartans, 45-3. All of the issues remained from previous losses to Ohio State, Nebraska, and Wisconsin: poor tackling, poor quarterback play, and poor defense.
Rutgers simply failed to show up defensively, once again. Joe Rossi's unit gave up over 500 total yards to the Big Ten's top offense, as MSU running backs found plenty of room on outside runs. RB Jeremy Langford had an astonishing 7.9 yards per carry on 16 attempts and found the end zone twice, while all. Spartan rushers totaled 242 yards on the ground and averaged 5.5 yards per carry, extending Rutgers' woes defending the run.
MSU QB Connor Cook had no issues finding his receivers all game, as seven different WRs had double-digits receiving yards. Tony Lippett led all Spartans with five catches for 72 yards and two scores, one coming on a fourth-down conversion. One play exemplified Rutgers' inability to make a stop in a nutshell. Inside ten minutes to go in the first half, Michigan State faced a 3rd and 6 from the Rutgers 47 yard line. After the snap, Rutgers' pass rush finds a way to break the pocket and sends Cook scrambling towards what looks like a sack. He escapes the rush and finds Macgarrett Kings for a 44-yard bomb to the RU 3, setting up a Nick Hill TD run. MSU was up 21-0 at that point, so a stop may not have changed things much. But it was a play that was a microcosm for the Knights' season.
Offensively, Rutgers couldn't find much success against the vaunted "No Fly Zone." They picked off Rutgers QBs three times and held top RU wideout Leonte Carroo in check, yielding only one catch for six yards. The Knights could only muster 234 yards of total offense, including 95 yards on the ground for the entire team. One bright spot was freshman running back Robert Martin. Martin continues to impress with his ability to power through defenders, and he looks to be the next great back of the future. He finished with 68 yards and a 4.3 yards per carry average.
Chris Laviano entered the game in the fourth quarter and received some garbage time reps. He looked fine for a bit once the game was in hand, but threw a bad interception in the MSU end zone for a touchback to end any hopes for RU to score once again.