Rutgers fans will have to postpone their Halloween festivities until around 3:00pm on Saturday, as the Scarlet Knights will be busy taking on the Wisconsin Badgers at noon. Last week, Rutgers had a spooky performance against OSU in which the momentum gained from a comeback win at Indiana vanished like a ghost. While the Buckeyes resembled the Great Pumpkin, Rutgers looked more like that tiny pumpkin that Corgi puppy was barking at a couple weeks ago. Against Wisconsin, the Scarlet Knights will look for less trick and more treat. Here's everything you need to know.
(Don't worry. I promise there won't be anymore bad Halloween jokes.)
The weekly injury report was released yesterday, which I wrote about in full right here.
The biggest takeaway, once again, is WR Leonte Carroo's questionable status. Carroo was a game-time decision going into the Ohio State game, but ended up starting, recording "just" three catches for 55 yards. However, he didn't play in the second half, and Kyle Flood said after the game he was physically unable to play. Carroo is likely facing another game-time decision Saturday.
Defensively, the Scarlet Knights will be without starting SS Davon Jacobs (upper body). Jacobs originally suffered the injury during the Indiana game. While he was questionable on the Ohio State week injury report, he was ruled out on Saturday morning, and now he's already out for Wisconsin. Kiy Hester will start in his place once again.
Here are the rest of the notable names from this week's injury report.
* SS Davon Jacobs (upper body)
* WR John Tsimis (lower body)
* RB Desmon Peoples (upper body)
* WR Leonte Carroo (lower body)
* WR Janarion Grant (lower body)
* CB Blessuan Austin (upper body)
* LT Keith Lumpkin (upper body)
* MLB Kaiwan Lewis (upper body)
* WLB Steve Longa (lower body)
On Monday, Flood spoke to the media regarding Saturday's road trip to Wisconsin. Here are the highlights.
* Flood opens by calling this an exciting week for the program, and says he has heard Madison, Wisconsin is "one of the really exciting venues in college football."
* Flood is asked how the team is going about preparing for Wisconsin's quarterback, since Joel Stave was injured in last week's game against Illinois. Flood says he'll let Wisconsin comment on Stave's status for Saturday's game. He adds that Bart Houston did a good job in relief, and Wisconsin did not change the aggressiveness of how they called the game even after Stave left.
* A reporter points out Wisconsin's offensive line is giving up almost two sacks a game this season. He asks if the team is doing anything in particular to get to the quarterback this week. Flood says they won't do anything different than they do every week, and says they will have to do a good job of getting to the passer on third down.
* Flood says he expects Carroo's practice participation this week to be similar to last week. He hints that Carroo will likely be a game-time decision once again.
* When asked if they might change up the running back rotation since Robert Martin has been so effective over the last couple weeks, Flood says they'll keep the rotation as it is. He says they have flexibility over who gets the most carries in a game, but he doesn't plan on changing who starts (Paul James).
* A reporter asks why Flood didn't consider putting Hayden Rettig in earlier than he did. Flood says "we have a starting quarterback and I always felt like you want to give the starting quarterback an opportunity to learn through the game." He admits Chris Laviano wasn't great against OSU, but says he has progressed throughout the season.
* When asked if he expects Wisconsin RB Corey Clement to play, Flood says he can't really address it since he's not with Clement everyday. Flood says he has had players that have undergone the same sports hernia procedure that Clement did, so he knows the general time frame, but every case is unique and he can't speak to Clement's status.
* Flood is asked about Longa, who Flood praises, saying we are seeing "the evolution of a good football player."
* Flood says Andre Patton will return punts if Grant is inactive on Saturday.
* Flood is asked about the benefits of playing with a young secondary, and he says they are getting in-game experience against some of the best players in the country, and that will help them in the long run.
* A reporter asks how Flood has dealt with the "healing process" with the community after the controversy earlier this season. He points out during the season his only real public appearance is his weekly radio show, but he says reception and interaction has been good.
* Flood is asked about SS Andre Hunt, who has connections to Wisconsin. Flood says he was Hunt was a walk-on, and he has exceeded expectations. Flood adds Hunt is a valuable player in sub packages on defense and on special teams.
* Like many Big Ten teams, Saturday will be just the second time Rutgers and Wisconsin have met. Last year, the Badgers shut out Rutgers 37-0 on a cold and rainy Homecoming day.
* This is the last time the teams are scheduled to meet until 2018, when they will meet in Madison once again.
* Rutgers is undefeated in its last three games played on Halloween after beating Virginia Tech in 1992, Temple in 1998 and UConn in 2009.
What do you think? Can Rutgers turn things around with a win in Wisconsin? Or will Rutgers' struggles against the Big Ten's elite continue? Sound off in the comments below!