After back to back losses for a combined 8 points against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-3; 4-3) and the Indiana Hoosiers (5-5; 3-4), it appeared the Scarlet Knights (2-8; 0-7) were turning the corner, but a lopsided loss to the Michigan State Spartans (3-7; 1-6) 49-0 has the RU faithful yearning for that silver lining. Unfortunately it is difficult to find positive takeaways when getting shutout 49-0.
The Scarlet Knights came into East Lansing, MI as big underdogs, but most did not expect the Spartans to pitch a shut out given the Scarlet Knight’s recent success with Gio Rescigno under center. Despite Gio’s struggles against Michigan State, he is still completing over 50% of his passes, and 5.91 yards per attempt in only his third start.
The Scarlet Knight’s offense struggled as a whole producing 149 yards of total offense compared to their season average of 312 yards (-163). Meanwhile the Spartans produced 440 yards of total offense, compared to their season average of 402 yards (+38). The Scarlet Knights defense continues to struggle against the run giving up 277 yards, compared to the Spartan’s season average of 164 (+113) yards per game.
Third Down woes also continued for the Scarlet Knights as they converted only 3-12 (25%) third downs, after only converting 1-16 (6.25%) against the Indiana Hoosiers. Here is a breakdown of Rutgers’ offense by down (stats prior to MSU game).
With two games remaining on the schedule, let’s hope the Scarlet Knights can put this poor outing behind them. They face a tough Penn State team (8-2; 6-1) at home next Saturday at 8PM on the Big Ten Network.