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OTB staff predictions for Rutgers v. Kansas

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Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Breitman: Kansas has lost 30 consecutive road games and comes in 0-2, including a loss to an FCS school. This is as about as good of a match-up that is possible for Rutgers, after the past month this football program has experienced.  And yet I don't think this will be a cake walk by any means, sadly.  Kansas has an up tempo, no huddle offense and runs 80+ plays a game.  They mix the run in more than a team like Washington State, including designed runs for their quarterback.  I have zero confidence in defensive coordinator Joe Rossi right now.  Maybe that is unfair with all the losses in personnel due to suspensions and injury, but for me it's the lack of adjustments the defense has made thus far. The good news is Kansas has a terrible defense and our offense should have every opportunity to get back on track. I do think there will be moments throughout that leave us utterly frustrated and fearful of whether we can pull this game out.   I think we run the ball all day to slow down the Kansas offense and grind out an ugly but much needed victory. Josh Hicks rumbles for over 200 yards and 3 scores and we pull away with a late score in the 4th quarter.  Rutgers 48-34

Bob Cancro: Ugly win?  Maybe.  Ugly loss?  I can't see it (but then I also saw us winning the last two).  We have to accept the fact for now that Chris Laviano is the QB - until he completely disappears into a hole on the 50 yard line.  With that said, I agree with Aaron that we will - and we should - run the ball to the point of controlling the clock by a 2-1 margin.  There really is talent on this team, but it seems - seems - that despite what is being said, these guys are feeling everything that is going on around them.  And that is a shame for the majority of these kids who just want to play the game.  KU has scored points in those two losses, and let's forget about their FCS loss.  Wazzou lost to an FCS team, too.  But despite everything I just said, I think this becomes a good, very solid win (it's all in my gut - no brains, as usual - involved).  Rutgers 35-14

Andy Egan A date with the Kansas Jayhawks at home is just what the doctor ordered for the Scarlet Knights. They are short about 30 scholarship athletes, and for some reason are still paying Charlie Weiss not to coach for them (Weiss will earn a combined $24.5M from ND and KU NOT to coach for them - what a country!!). This might be the worst P-5 team in the country. There offense s not a good match for our defense, because they spread it out and throw a lot every game, but they will run more than WSU, and their O line is not nearly as good as the Cougars. Scarlet Knights hold them under 20, and Laviano game-manages the offense sufficiently for Agudosi and Patton to have big games on dump-off passes over the middle. They also have no answer for Janarion Grant, who scores TWO more return touchdowns this week. Rutgers 41, Kansas 17.

Ray Ransom This game will tell us a lot about how the rest of the season will go. If it's a blowout, as it should be, it means that this is fundamentally a good team that is ready to compete for the rest of the season. If it's a tight win or a loss, it means this team has given up on the season and we're in for a rough ride the rest of the way. I think this one starts off ugly and close, with Rutgers still reeling from the Penn State beating, with the Knights blowing it open in the 2nd half behind a revitalized run game. This might be one of the last fun Rutgers football games this season, so savor it, friends! Rutgers 52, Kansas 24

Griffin Whitmer Rutgers can't possibly screw this one up, right? They have a win gift-wrapped and delivered to the field at HPSS on Saturday afternoon. Kansas is without a doubt the worst P5 team in the country and maybe in history. The Rutgers offense will have a field day. The Rutgers defense will have a field day.The Rutgers special teams unit will have a field day. Norries Wilson will have a field day. Everyone will have a field day! The three-headed monster at HB will gain 300 yards and Hayden Rettig will get on the field one way or another. Rutgers wins 56-13

Scott Logan: This matchup (which ESPN discussed possibly being the "worst game ever") is exactly what Rutgers needs. Kansas lost both of its first two games. Both were at home, and one was to South Dakota State. Plus, Kansas was 0-6 on the road last year. Yuck. With the gauntlet of the Big Ten schedule looming, Rutgers needs to build momentum in a big way on Saturday. I really would like to see Hayden Rettig get into this game, but if Coaches Flood and Wilson are insistent on sticking with Laviano, I'd be much more at ease if we could see him develop a deep ball against a Kansas team that has given up 96 points through two games. Paul James shakes off his rough night against Penn State and goes for over 100 yards and a pair of scores. Turay finally comes alive with two sacks and a blocked punt. Grant takes another one back. The Kansas rushing attack, which averages over 5.0 YPC, gives Joe Rossi fits, but for the most part they keep the Jayhawks in check. Rutgers rolls. Rutgers 48, Kansas 21

Kelly Montagna: Nothing could make me more confident in this Rutgers team at this point in the season then a visit from the Jayhawks. Kansas has been atrocious on the road the last few years, and I expect this trend to continue. They are struggling in basically every facet of the game: an inaccurate QB, a pass defense that ranks last in the Big 12, and a first year, inexperienced coach still trying to get his bearings. My prediction for this game would be to see Hicks completely separate himself from the "committee," and take about 75% of the snaps at running back. If we're continuing with Laviano at quarterback, if he's able to shore up his ball security woes, I think he will put up solid numbers against this poor Kansas pass defense, and (maybe its wishful thinking) but I see Rutgers winning fairly convincingly. Rutgers 35-17