If either team scores more than 30 points, I will be shocked. Penn State has an awful offense. Penn State has a great defense. Rutgers has an offense that isn't good enough to put up points against Penn State. However, Rutgers has a defense that matches up well with Penn State's offense.
Let's take a look at the keys to the game
We're better than Temple, right? Right? Anyone? Hello?
If Hackenberg has time to throw, Rutgers will get smoked. Our D-Line against their O-Line is really the only matchup working in our favor. However, if the D-Line plays like they did against Wazzu, the secondary will be in for a very long night in what would then be known as Not-So-Happy Valley. If Kemoko Turay can sharpen up and get back to his 2014 form, Rutgers will stand a chance. We all saw what Temple did with a scrappy, tough, gritty, hard-nosed D-Line and there is no reason to think Rutgers can't so the same.
Happy Valley Jitters
How will Chris Laviano fare in his first road start? Beaver Stadium should be packed and loud, as it always is and Laviano has never experienced anything like what he is going to experience on Saturday. He will need to get in an early rhythm in order to get past the nerves that come with playing in a venue that large during primetime. This is going to be especially difficult without his best target.
Score early and often
Bottom line: Rutgers needs to put points on the board early. They have struggled to get into an early groove this year and it cost them the game against Washington State. They got down early and just didn't have enough time to get ahead for good. They also started slow against Norfolk State. Even if it is Kyle Federico kicking 4 field goals in the first half, there needs to be points on the scoreboard consistently for the Scarlet Knights.
Most Important Players
Offense: Carlton Agudosi
Agudosi has the hardest job this week: replacing Leonte Carroo. Andre Patton is a proven talent but Agudosi has yet to establish himself as a formidable target for Chris Laviano. There is obviously Janarion Grant but he is staple in the slot. Rutgers needs Agudosi to step up, especially since John Tsimis will be playing his first game this year. Agudosi, Tsimis, and Patton are really the only 3 true WRs left on the Rutgers roster.
Defense: Kemoko Turay
This one was pretty easy. Penn State's offensive line: not good at all. Kemoko Turay: Very Good. This matchup is easily favoring Turay, but he clearly hasn't been himself this year. If Turay is healthy, he should have a monster game. Penn State's offensive line is clearly vulnerable to aggressive pass-rushers. Rutgers is feeling pretty blessed to have one in Turay, but he needs to be his true self in order to be successful. My advice to Turay: KILL. MAIM. DESTROY.
Special Teams: Joey Roth
This game isn't expected to produce much offense, so the field position battle will be key. If Roth can continue his strong play from Wazzu, he could be the MVP of the game. Roth's job is to pin Penn State as far back as they can. Hopefully a few sacks from the defense lead to Penn State punting from deep in their own territory and Chris Laviano will only have to go 25 yards or so to get into scoring position for Kyle Federico. However, if Roth shanks a few
Final Prediction: Penn State wins in a low scoring, ugly game.