Rutgers' game against Wisconsin may be on October 31, but it sure felt like Halloween came a week early after the Scarlet Knights' scary-bad performance against Ohio State over the weekend. The good news is that Rutgers won't be playing the defending champs again on Saturday. The bad news is Wisconsin is still a solid team, and the Scarlet Knights will need to move on from last week's embarrassment quickly as they head to Madison looking to even up their record at 4-4. The injury report and depth chart have been released ahead of Saturday's game, giving us an idea of what the team will look like Saturday.
WR Leonte Carroo was able to play last Saturday, but he remains on the injury report this week. Rutgers' best player is listed as questionable with a lower body injury. Carroo didn't see the field during the second half of last week's loss. While some thought that might have been due to the 21-0 deficit Rutgers faced at the intermission, Kyle Flood said afterwards that Carroo was physically unable to play. The dynamic receiver could be looking at another game-time decision.
Fellow receiver Janarion Grant is also questionable with a lower body injury. He was questionable on last week's injury report but ended up playing against OSU, so unless he suffers a setback he should be ready to roll for Wisconsin.
Starting CB Blessuan Austin (upper body) finds himself questionable for Saturday's game as well. He missed last week's game with the same injury, and true freshman Jarius Adams started in his place. Adams could be ticketed for another start if Austin is forced to sit out again.
Another hit to Rutgers' thin secondary comes with the news that SS Davon Jacobs (upper body) has already been ruled out against Wisconsin. Kiy Hester will continue to start in his place.
Nine other players have already been ruled out for Saturday's game. No surprises in the bunch, but here they are: WR John Tsimis (lower body), RB Desmon Peoples (upper body), DT Darius Hamilton (lower body, out for season), TE George Behr (lower body), WR Dontae Owens (lower body), LB Nick Rafferty (upper body), LB Austin Rosa (lower body), RB Charles Snorweah (upper body) and LB T.J. Taylor (lower body).
In more optimistic news, LT Keith Lumpkin (upper body), MLB Kaiwan Lewis (upper body) and WLB Steve Longa (lower body) are all listed as probable and should be all systems go against Wisconsin.
Here's a look at the latest depth chart ahead of Saturday's showdown with the Badgers.
QB: Chris Laviano/Hayden Rettig
RB: Paul James OR Josh Hicks OR Justin Goodwin OR Robert Martin
FB: Sam Bergen/Anthony Folkerts
TE: Nick Arcidiacono/Matt Flanagan OR Charles Scarff
WR: Leonte Carroo/Carlton Agudosi
WR: Andre Patton/Janarion Grant
LT: Keith Lumpkin/Zack Heeman
LG: Dorian Miller/Tariq Cole
C: Derrick Nelson/Chris Muller
RG: Chris Muller/Marcus Applefield
RT: J.J. Denman/Ryan Brodie
* No changes.
* The #FreeRettig movement will have to wait at least another week. It's worth noting he was up against the best team in the country, but Laviano was brutal against Ohio State, completing just 10-of-20 passes for 117 yards (5.8 YPA) for no touchdowns and a pick. Rettig came in for Rutgers' final two drives, completing 3-of-7 passes for 72 yards (10.3 YPA) for one touchdown and no INTs. He made a beautiful 58-yard pass to Agudosi and found Patton in the end zone for a four-yard score in the game's final minute. Still, Rettig's solid performance in garbage time was not enough to force a change.
* The running backs continue to be a three-man rotation. Against OSU, James led the backfield in carries (10) and yards (56). Martin led the team in YPC, tallying 43 yards on six carries (7.2 YPC). Hicks struggled for a second straight game, managing just 19 yards on his six totes.
DE: Quanzell Lambert/Kemoko Turay
NT: Sebastian Joseph/Kevin Wilkins
DT: Julian Pinnix-Odrick/Eric Wiafe
DE: Djwany Mera/Jimmy Hogan
WLB: Steve Longa/Deonte Roberts
MLB: Kaiwan Lewis/Isaiah Johnson
SLB: Quentin Gause/Eric Margolis OR Kevin Marquez
CB: Isaiah Wharton/Ronnie James
FS: Anthony Cioffi/Saquan Hampton
SS: Kiy Hester/Andre Hunt OR Najee Clayton
CB: Blessuan Austin OR Jarius Adams
* The depth chart for the front seven remains the same.
* As I mentioned above, Adams will get the start opposite Wharton if Austin can't give it a go Saturday. Adams was previously listed as Austin's backup. James will likely serve as the third corner if Austin is out.
* With Jacobs ruled out, Hester will once again draw the start against Wisconsin. Clayton is a new addition to the depth chart, serving as Hester's co-backup along with Hunt.
K: Kyle Federico/Chris Gough
P: Joey Roth/Michael Cintron
LS: Alan Lucy/Alex Hutchings
H: Joey Roth/Brian Verbitski
KR/PR: Janarion Grant/Josh Hicks
Will Carroo play on Saturday? Should he play if he's not at 100%? Can Rutgers turn their season around (again) on the road in Madison? Sound off in the comments below!