Yesterday, Rutgers scared the shit out of 39,680 people by going down 21-0 to an already bad New Mexico team without two of their best players. However, they went on to score 31 unanswered points en route to a 38-27 victory. Rutgers got the win and covered the spread, but there is still a lot to talk about. It’s time for some Sunday morning hot takes.
Janarion Grant is the most electric player in college football
Aside from the fact that all of his returns are disgusting, like not your typical returner finding the hole and running, Grant is statistically the best returner in college football. With his return yesterday, he passed Ryan Switzer of UNC for the National lead.
Rutgers' Janarion Grant has 7 career kick return TD's - tied for the most nationally among active players with UNC's Ryan Switzer— Dave Revsine (@BTNDaveRevsine) September 16, 2016
More importantly, Grant makes a really bad team really fun to watch sometimes.
With the exception of Janarion Grant, the special teams makes me want to vomit
It is absolutely sad when Rutgers is in position for a 45 yard field goal and doesn’t have a kicker that has the leg. Just the other night, Jon Sot, a junior for St. Joe’s Metuchen kicked a 55-yard field goal. Give him a scholarship. Now.
Furthermore, punting is once again a huge issue. Michael Cintron averaged just under 35 yards on 7 punts. On the season, he is averaging 38 yards/punt which is not good enough. Moreover, they are consistently low line drives. I miss Nick Marsh.
The most infuriating part, however, is the kickoff team. It is so ridiculous that New Mexico can have a guy who can completely neutralize Janarion Grant by consistently putting the ball 5-10 yards deep in the end zone. Rutgers’ best option is kicking line drives to the 10 yard line. The team is trying to transition Jared Smolar into the starting role, and hopefully he pans out like his potential dictates.
Jawuan Harris is officially the next big thing for this offense
Besides Janarion Grant, Harris might be the best playmaker on the team. He simply ran right by a New Mexico defender for a 75-yard touchdown. Harris is now the leading receiver on the team with 140 yards and is tied for the lead with 2 scores. Remember when he was a 2-star recruit committed to Florida Atlantic? lol. Harris looks like another Kyle Flood diamond in the rough and that is not sarcastic. That was Flood’s bread and butter. So thanks for Harris, CKF, hope all is well.
Robert Martin is back
After missing the first game against Washington, the best running back on the roster has come back incredibly strong. He rushed for 83 yards against Howard and set a career high yesterday with 169 rushing yards. He also made a nice one-handed catch on a poor swing pass to display his ability in all facets of the game. More importantly, Martin did something no Rutgers running back has ever done before, he did not get caught from behind on a long TD run. Ray Rice, the greatest running back in Rutgers history, always got caught from behind. It doesn’t stop at Ray Rice, though, as pretty much every Rutgers running back that I’ve seen has gotten caught from behind on long runs. Martin, coming off of an injury, cruised 80 yards for a touchdown, leaving everybody in the dust.
Chris Laviano’s job is not safe
Laviano really looked bad on Saturday. He could not move the offense consistently and was pulled in the 4th quarter for Zach Allen before coming back in to close out the game. The biggest issue is that he fails to the simplest things in this offense. He can’t throw a swing pass or an out route. It is infuriating. His short throws are constantly low or high or wide or just not where they should be. He is not fast enough to make up for his lack of consistency throwing the ball. Only completing 11 of 27 passes against New Mexico does not have me excited for the B1G part of the schedule. Can’t wait for Tylin Oden to gain 30 pounds.
This team does not look very good
I hate to say this, but at times, this team looks simply terrible. They can’t move the ball on offense and the defense is wildly inconsistent. This is 3 straight games that the opponent has scored on a long TD pass, beating the safeties. The special teams are not good either. Rutgers has yet to play a game against a team that they should be competitive with, so the next few weeks will be telling to see how they perform in games where there isn’t an overwhelming favorite.