The Scarlet Knights get a gift as they go on the road to play Army. The Black Knights are 2-8, with one of those losses coming at home against FCS Fordham. As always, the Black Knights will run the triple-option offense, which Rutgers has fared pretty well against in recent history. Hopefully the Scarlet Knights can get on track before their season finale against Maryland.
Opposing Player Spotlight
Edgar Allan Poe, WR, 6-4 222
Not only does he have the greatest name in college football, but Poe is the leading receiver for the Black Knights. Although he only has 9 catches, he has 225 receiving yards and 4 TDs. Those are Leonte Carroo-type proportions. You may wonder why I chose a WR for a team that barely throws it, but if I am Army, I see this Rutgers secondary as an opportunity to go outside the box and get some yards. Keep in mind that Navy threw the ball all over the Scarlet Knights last year.
How Rutgers Wins
Time of Possession
Rutgers needs to absolutely dominate the line of scrimmage, given their massive size advantage. As long as they control their offense and have a balanced rushing attack, they should be fine. Another key is keeping the defense off the field. The linemen and linebackers will be doing a lot of running and it is very important to keep them fresh.
Without a doubt, this group is the only strong unit on the defense. All 3 starters are incredibly strong against the run. Games against Army and Navy are typically when linebackers rack up an insane amount of statistics, and that should be the case for these guys. As long as Army sticks to their script of running the ball, I think the linebackers will all have huge games.
Rebound Game for O-Line
The offensive line played their worst game of the season against Nebraska but will hopefully have it a little bit easier against the Black Knights. They will have an unfair size advantage and should take advantage of it. I expect a heavy dose of run plays to get them their confidence back. They should have some fun on Saturday.
How Rutgers loses
- By playing pass-heavy on offense
- If Army decides to throw the ball a lot
- if the special teamers still can't remember how to kick a football
- If Hayden Rettig sees the field (they've probably already lost)
- Injuries at linebacker expose poor depth
- Play like they did against B1G teams
The most important position group when playing a triple option team is the linebackers. Luckily, Rutgers' best defensive unit is their linebacker. While Kaiwan Lewis struggles in pass coverage, he is very strong against the run. Steve Longa is a tackling machine and I wouldn't be surprised to see him get 20, yes 20, tackles. Let's not forget the best player on the defense, Quentin Gause, who should flying around the field. Depth will be an issue however, as Army will run the ball just about every play and the LBs will get tired. Isaiah Johnson is the only proven linebacker that isn't a starter and will likely get the most playing time of his short career. I think the defense has a great game, as they are built perfectly to stop this type of offense. Rutgers 35-10 Army
In gif form:
Rutgers @ Army | Michie Stadium, West Point, NY | 12pm | CBS Sports