It's Friday, which means we're about one day from kickoff against the team from PA. With the game week coming to a close, it's time for the staff to give their irrefutable predictions. Without further adieu:
Kevin Recio: One of our very own community members summed up my feelings on talking about the game here. With that, I'll leave this tweet as a nice little gift:
Rutgers over PSU, 24-20.
Bob Cancro: Well, here's what I wrote back in August:
This one is gonna be tough. Both to handicap and to play. And to watch. I fear that the "black shoe cult" will come out and there will be about 10,000 blue shirts....Franklin & Co. will want to make a statement to Rutgers and to New Jersey's potential recruits. But so will the Knights....I gotta make a call and the heart and head are fighting.
ttfp 30 RU 14
But I also thought we'd lose to Wazzu. The time between when I wrote that and now has caused me to rethink a lot. Flood's contract extension. ttfp off probation. The Wazzu win. Nova......hmmm. This is like no other game we've ever played. Unlike Schiano's teams, I don't think Flood will wind these guys up so tight that they crumble. I think it will be close. I really do. Damn it!
PSU 24 RU 20
Dave White: Biggest game in school history since the last biggest game in school history. Under the lights. Just feels right, I think. RU 28 PSU 22.
Andy Egan: I think this ends up a very close game. I just can't decide if it's a 45-42 close game, or 21-17. I think Rutgers wins the turnover battle and gets a few good hits on Christian Hackenberg, and the Fridge digs deep into his bag of wizardry to come up with a few plays that leave ttfp defenders chasing ghosts. Rutgers 35, ttfp 31.
Garrett Stepien: "I feel like the [game] is gonna change New Jersey and Rutgers football forever."
That's what Leonte Carroo told us at the Daily Targum earlier in the week. The buzz and energy surrounding this team heading into this game is unlike anyone before it. The best ones to compare it to are the Louisville games in 2006 and 2012. Like these other guys, I just have this feeling that Rutgers is meant to pull this one out. But I was at that Louisville game in 2012 and it also felt like it was meant -- until it wasn't. But this is a new season, new team and many of those from that team like Gary Nova have made huge strides in development physically and mentally.
My bottom line is that this game will be close, but it could end up going either way. If Rutgers wins this game, it's going to be on a comeback to remember -- similar to the Arkansas game last year. A comeback is capped off by Nova to Carroo on a third-and-ten or fourth-and-ten from at least 20 yards out just like we saw last year against Arky and Temple. RU 38, PSU 35.
Ray Ransom: Primetime in Piscataway is going to go down as one of the greatest games in school history, win or lose. The hype machine is already rolling, the national media will be tuned in, the crowd will be fired off and the streets from Atlantic to Jersey to New York City will run Scarlet with our revelry. Win or lose, we've already accomplished so much from where the program was the last time the spotlight shone so brightly.
On the field, it's going to be a back and forth affair that goes right down to the wire. Big plays from both offenses. Huge momentum swings via special teams. Drama, drama, drama. My prediction: the last play of the game is going to look a whole lot like this:
...and then Piscataway is going to look a whole lot like this:
My Prediction: Rutgers 42 - TTFP 35