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Rutgers vs Nebraska // Game Recap

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This is getting old...

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

In an incredibly predictable game, Rutgers was dominated by the Nebraska Cornhuskers to the tune of 31-14.

The students failed to show up, and quite frankly neither did the team. The Scarlet Knights were flat from the start and failed to gain any offensive momentum whatsoever.

Nebraska had multiple opportunities to put the game away but Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw a near pick-6 to Anthony Cioffi, which led to a 6-yard TD drive. This was Chris Laviano's first TD drive since they played Indiana just about a month ago. Following the Rutgers TD, Armstrong made a terrible decision to chuck the ball up near midfield and Saquan Hampton of Rutgers came down with it. With a minute left on the clock and only 1 timeout, Chris Laviano was unable to get points on the board.

In the third quarter, the teams traded possessions before Rutgers got the ball and Chris Laviano connected with Leonte Carroo on an incredible catch to the 5 yard line. On the next play, Robert Martin took a direct snap, tossed it to Janarion Grant on the jet sweep, who then threw a lefty(!!!) pass to Chris Laviano who made a diving catch for a touchdown to make the game 21-14 Nebraska. However, the Huskers scored a TD on the next possession to deflate the energy in the Stadium and on the field. They went up 28-14 and didn't look back.

The game was over when...

With under a minute left in the 3rd quarter, Kyle Flood elected to try a fake punt. Nebraska was all over the play and stuffed it. It was actually comical how Nebraska knew exactly what play was being run. All 11 players were running to the same side of the field and the play went nowhere. Nebraska got the ball in Rutgers territory and kicked a field goal to give them a 31-14 lead in the 4th quarter.

3 Best

Josh Hicks: Hicks had a very strong night and was running mean. Based on the ever so reliable eye test, it looked like one of the best games of his career, even though he only had 61 yards.

Anthony Cioffi: Sure, he got lucky on his interception and was late in coverage for a good deal of the defensive snaps, but he got an interception and has been the only player on the defense consistently making plays. He is providing great senior-type leadership for the young secondary even though he is a junior.

Janarion Grant: Grant caught a nice screen pass early on, as well a 40-yard bomb from Chris Laviano late in the game. He also nearly broke a punt return all the way. His highlight of the night was of course when he threw a touchdown to QB Chris Laviano to bring Rutgers back within 7 points.

3 Worst

O-Line: Collectively, they were the worst unit on the field tonight. They were awful in pass protection as Chris Laviano was constantly under pressure and was sacked too many times to count. They were awful in run blocking as Rutgers only averaged 2.3 YPC against a defense that came in giving up an average of 4.7 YPC. The all-around effort was very poor.

Kyle Federico: On the opening kickoff, Federico had about 20mph of wind in his back and the ball barely reached the goal line. His kickoffs were poor, with the exception of one. In addition, he left a 49-yard field goal nearly 10 yards short.

Kyle Flood: I have been to nearly every home game of Kyle Flood's tenure, and I have never seen or heard him get booed. Tonight, he got booed just as loud as I've ever heard Rutgers fans boo for anything. I think even the 20,000 Nebraska fans chimed in.

Game Notes

  • The Nebraska defense always tackles high, which is maybe why they are 5-6. That comes down to awful coaching and it was the first time I've seen that issue at the college level.
  • Paul James did not play, although he did suit up
  • Rutgers is now guaranteed to have a losing season, even if they make and win a bowl game
  • This is the 4th straight game Rutgers has lost by at least 3 scores
  • Chris Laviano led the offense on their first TD drive since they played Indiana on October 17th
  • Kevin Wilkins and Saquan Hampton each snagged their first career interceptions
  • Chris Laviano has now gone 4 straight games without throwing a TD
  • Chris Laviano has now gone 4 straight games with a completion percentage at or below 50%
  • Derrick Nelson suffered what seemed to be a very serious injury with about a minute left in the game. Down 31-14 with a minute left, he should not have been in the game