Rutgers may have suffered the close loss 34-32 but there was a lot to like in this game heading into the Scarlet Knights’ bye week.
Wow. This was a nice change-of-pace. Rutgers scored more points today than the past four weeks combined. They may have even gained more yards today than the past four weeks combined. It sure felt like it at least.
Despite the defensive struggles, especially against Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks’ run-game, the Scarlet Knights played very well.
Giovanni Rescigno had an amazing game despite his interceptions and playing the second half noticeablely banged up from taking several big hits. Justin Goodwin had an absolutely incredible game in the mystery absence of Robert Martin (update: Ash discusses Martin’s injury here). Andre Patton and Jawuan Harris were open and catching passes. Even David Bonagura hit a clutch field goal. We looked like a team.
Rescigno finished with 200 yards three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 26 yards on 11 carries. While the interceptions are not something anyone is happy about, especially in a close loss, Rescigno looked composed in all facets. He could avoid pressure and he could throw on the run.
Goodwin finished with 97 yards on 19 carries and had 6 catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. Goodwin had little issues in this game as he moved well in poen space and fought for those tough yards on his carries. Rutgers fans hardly noticed Martin not being in the game today with Justin’s production.
The defense despite giving up 21 first quarter points, held Minnesota to no offensive touchdowns and only two field goals after the first. They also made a handful of really clutch and tough fourth down stops. Unfortunately, they could not come through when we needed them the most.
If Bonagura hadn’t missed the XP and, as a result, we never would have attempted the failed two-point conversion, there is a chance this game could have been ours. Throw in some other turnovers and some poor defensive play, and we were pretty lucky to only lose by two.
This is a game we should have won if we had played clean. A two point loss, though, to a good Big Ten team on the road is nothing to sneeze at especially after a string of embarrassing losses.
Giovanni Rescigno has given life and hope to this fan base and team yet again. This team deserves this bye week coming up but they will get right back into action in two weeks when they take on Indiana in Piscataway.