Another week, another blowout loss.
Time is running out for Rutgers to reach the coveted six-win total, as they sit at 3-6 with just three games remaining. On Saturday, Nebraska, coming off an improbable last-minute win over Michigan State, heads to Rutgers, as both teams look to keep their bowl hopes alive. Here's a look at the injury report and depth chart ahead of Saturday's must-win game.
Once again, WR Leonte Carroo (questionable, lower body injury) is the biggest name on Rutgers' (very lengthy) injury report. The wide receiver has not seen the field since the first half of the Ohio State game. He was a game-time decision ahead of the Wisconsin and Michigan games, but obviously did not end up playing in either. If it's up to him, I expect Carroo to try and tough it out with the season on the line.
The Scarlet Knights deal with yet another big injury with RB Paul James, who is listed as questionable with a lower body injury. James was active against Michigan, but didn't see the field as BTN reported he was dealing with a lower leg ailment. Kyle Flood said after the game James was available in an emergency role. The fact that he was available against Michigan is good news, but it's clear James is not 100%, and his status against Nebraska is uncertain.
As seems to be the case every week, a thin Rutgers secondary could be even thinner on Saturday. SS Davon Jacobs (upper body) has already been ruled out. This will be his third straight missed game. Plus, starting CB Blessuan Austin (upper body) is questionable. It's not clear when Austin's injury occurred. And finally, freshman SS Najee Clayton, one of Jacobs' backups, is questionable with an upper body injury. Yikes.
DT Eric Wiafe, who was listed as questionable ahead of the Michigan game, must have suffered a setback, as he missed last Saturday's game, and has already been ruled out for the Nebraska game. He did not play against Michigan, either.
Joining Jacobs and Wiafe on the sideline will be WR John Tsimis (lower body), RB Desmon Peoples (upper body), DT Darius Hamilton (lower body, out for season), TE George Behr (lower body), LB Nick Rafferty (upper body), DT Kenneth Roman (upper body), LB Austin Rosa (lower body), RB Charles Snorweah (upper body) and LB T.J. Taylor (lower body).
Rejoice, there's good news. A lot of big name players are probable! WR Carlton Agudosi (lower body), WR Janarion Grant (lower body), SS Kiy Hester (lower body), MLB Kaiwan Lewis (upper body), WLB Steve Longa (lower body) and LT Keith Lumpkin (upper body) should all be good to go.
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 OR 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.
* Despite three straight horrid performances, Kyle Flood is standing pat with Laviano as his starter. Laviano completed just 11-of-26 passes against Michigan, gaining 97 yards (3.7 YPA), no touchdowns and a pick. His QBR was a putrid 9.3.
* As has been the case over the last three weeks, Rettig only took the field against Michigan in the fourth quarter, well after the outcome had been decided. He only attempted one pass.
* With James not playing on Saturday, the carries were split pretty evenly between Martin and Hicks. Martin was the leading runner, tallying 81 yards on ten carries (8.6 YPC), although 54 of those yards came on one run. Hicks carried the ball nine times for 41 yards (4.1 YPC). If James sits against Nebraska, expect a similar distribution of carries.
DE: Quanzell Lambert/Kemoko Turay
NT: Sebastian Joseph/Kevin Wilkins
DT: Julian Pinnix-Odrick/Eric Wiafe OR Jon Bateky
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
* No changes, again.
* Hester has been starting in place of Jacobs since his injury, and he'll likely continue to do so against Nerbaska.
* With Austin in and out of the lineup this season, Adams has already seen a couple starts in his place. He could do so again on Saturday.
K: Kyle Federico/Chris Gough
P: Joey Roth/Michael Cintron
LS: Alan Lucy/Alex Hutchings
H: Joey Roth/Brian Verbitski
KR/PR: Janarion Grant/Andre Patton
Do you think Carroo can/will play against Nebraska, even if he's not at 100%? Can Rutgers' young, thin secondary contain a Nebraska team that just upset Michigan State? Should Rutgers #FreeRettig if Laviano's struggles continue? Sound off in the comments below!