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Rutgers vs Nebraska // Game Preview

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Can Rutgers end the dreadful blowout streak? Can Leonte Carroo help Chris Laviano improve? Can the defense stop a nosebleed? Can Rutgers compete with a big name team? Saturday is filled with massive question marks for the Scarlet Knights as they try to earn back respect against Nebraska. Let's take a look at this matchup.

Opposing Player Spotlight

QB Tommy Armstrong Jr., 6-1 220

Tommy Armstrong Jr. is an incredibly productive dual-threat QB for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. This is bad news for the Scarlet Knights, as they tend to struggle with QBs who have the ability to break the pocket and run. He has a great supporting cast in HB Terrell Newby and WRs Jordan Westerkamp and Brandon Reilly. Armstrong Jr. leads the B1G in both total yards and total YPG. In 9 games, he has accounted for 24 TDs (18 passing, 6 rushing) and amassed 2600 total yards. Armstrong is going to get his yards and Nebrasks is going to get their points. Rutgers is going to have to limit these opportunities and hope for a game-changing turnover.

How Rutgers Wins

Key Turnovers

Although Tommy Armstrong Jr. has put up a lot of offense, he has turned the ball over 10 times this year. Anthony Cioffi is itching for another interception and we all know Blessuan Austin is hungry for another pick-6. The key with turnovers will be getting the ball in good field position for Chris Laviano and the offense. Turnovers for points will be the difference in this game if Rutgers is to win.

Special Teams

Janarion Grant has been the lone bright spot on the Rutgers ST unit this year. Basically every other ST unit has been wildly inconsistent, except for kickoffs. No matter who is kicking the ball off, they do not seem to be able to do it very well. Chris Gough got benched for Kyle Federico last week, who failed to reach the endzone when he was kicking with 10+ mph of wind with him. Another spark from Grant will go a long way in getting the Scarlet Knights the W.

Keep Leonte Carroo healthy

You never want to single a player out for an injury, but Chris Laviano is 100% responsible for Leonte Carroo's "lower body" injury that he suffered against Indiana. He horrendously under threw Carroo who had to go up in the air against multiple defenders to make the key TD catch. Laviano needs to be on point and not leave Carroo, who will be targeted a lot, out to dry.

How Rutgers loses

  • Elementary defensive schemes
  • No pressure from the D-Line
  • The tight ends ghost again
  • Leonte Carroo gets injured
  • Nebraska limits Janarion Grant
  • Poor punting giving Nebraska a short field
  • Poor fan performance
  • Lack of motivation from the get-go

My Prediction

Nebraska plays a lot of offense. Like Rutgers, however, they don't play much defense. Both defenses are equally poor but Nebraska's offense is light years ahead of Rutgers'. Points will be scored in this game, and I think Nebraska simply puts up too many for Rutgers to have a shot to win. Carroo will play so Laviano will probably light up the stat sheet as well. Offensive firepower yields a score of Nebraska 52-38 Rutgers

In gif form:

Game Specifics

Nebraska @ Rutgers | Rutgers Stadium, Piscataway, NJ | 3:30pm | BTN