We strive for accountability and transparency here at On the Banks, so with that in mind, we'll be trying something new this season for game predictions. Each week, the editors will submit their scores so that you can
serve us crow afterward compare our predictions to yours. Now that gametime is almost here, let's see what the OtB crew has to say about the matchup:
Bob Cancro (rvc73): A lot depends on which Nova shows up. If they keep it focused and a bit vanilla - getting him to "manage" the game - I think it can be positive. The defense needs to bring the "A game" to set the tone. If Nova isn't playing from behind, I think he'll be better. All that being said, not sure we win this one. WSU 35, RU 24.
Kevin Recio: I think Rutgers' secondary will be vastly improved compared to last season, but I'm not sure the improvement comes in time for this game. Injuries to Barnwell and Cioffi leave the corner position a little thin for four-wide sets from the Cougs. I don't think it's as much of a barnburner as the Fresno State game, but I do think it'll still be close. WSU 28, RU 27.
Dave White: Myles Mack goes off for 38 including 5 threes, while Kadeem... wait a second... How did I get roped into doing this? Honestly, all I've heard about is Wizzou's air attack and Rutgers beat-up secondary... Maybe if the team is in sync with Fridge's new offense, they can hang in there. WSU 42 Rutgers 28.
Andy Egan: Can we get some scarlet-colored optimism up in here please? sheesh. Rutgers D-Line lives in the Wazzou backfield, and the Cougar QB does not have time to operate the passing game they way he wants. The Cougars put up points, taking advantage of quick passes on a green secondary to minimize the disruption Rutgers defensive front brings, but it's not enough, and it's not the barnburner everyone seems to expect from Mike Leach and Co. Nova lights it up, and healthy Paul James and Leonte Caroo have big nights - two TDs each, one more to Kroft and one on a sneak from Nova. Knights in control from the second quarter on after settling down some early jitters. RU 45, Wazzou 35.
Ray Ransom: Season opener, west coast, spread offense with a prolific QB? I'll take the historical trend, but this year, I say superNova shows up and leads us to victory. Paul James goes over 100 yards receiving, Tyler Kroft announces his Mackey Award candidacy with three touchdowns and in a charming twist of fate, the defense makes the big play right at the big moment to preserve a close victory. The win vaults us into an undefeated non-con and a ton of momentum leading into the Big Ten slate. RU 52, Wazzou 51.
So there you have it. The editors have a 3-2 split in favor of the Cougars. How do you think Rutgers will fare? Cast your vote in the poll, and leave a prediction in the comments below!