Game #3 of the season is here and while a win over an FCS school, Morgan State, won’t erase the sting of last week’s loss to Eastern Michigan, it’s important for this team to recover from it with a strong performance this Saturday. There is no line for the game, due to it being an FBS v. FCS matchup. However, Morgan State has been held scoreless in their two losses this season and Rutgers should win handily. Our staff give thoughts on what to expect and hope for in this game.
Bob Cancro: Deep breath, everyone. Unclench the hands, let your body relax..... Feel better? Yeah, probably not because we're still 0-2. With all due respect to Morgan State, you are not going to win this week. We all - all of us - said Rutgers had talent. And it didn't just disappear last week; it's still there and will show enough of itself to win this week. We have a messy QB situation; I don't see that getting straightened out on Saturday. I do see the line getting its groove back and the running game returning. It's all gonna be okay....at least for this week. Rutgers 31 Morgan State 13
David Anderson: Janarion Grant should have a strong performance because he will not come out of the game until this one is totally out of hand. No person on the team or sidelines looked more frustrated last week and rightfully so, as well as he played. Rutgers better be going crazy with energy in this contest. That energy won’t come from the fan base though, as they are rightfully still shell-shocked. Look for an attempt to go hurry up early on, so Rutgers has the potential to get in rhythm before the 4th quarter a la Drew Mehringer, who knew! Sure that also introduces risk of a rocky start, but Morgan State simply does not have the firepower to get an insurmountable lead. Fans may be clamoring for a game plan intended to shut out the opponent, but Morgan State by sheer law of averages will likely get some points, though I hope not and Rutgers has been stingy in the red zone. Ultimately, Rutgers ends up with a big enough lead to get some other guys snaps, preventing a lot of points piling up. Rutgers 31, Morgan State 9.
David Brown: After a lackluster start, Rutgers and Chris Ash need some serious soul searching. Morgan State may be an FCS team but they are entitled to victory just as much as Rutgers. Losing to EMU should be a valuable lesson for Rutgers and from this point on, the Scarlet Knights should play every game as if it were their last. Rutgers are the favorites but their offense haven't given myself any encouragement.
Hopefully, this game will recalibrate their season towards the right direction. I'm still waiting for Janarion Grant to explode which I can confidently say will happen. This will be his game to shine. Rutgers 24 Morgan State 10
Aaron Breitman: Sadly, there is no score or margin of victory in this game for Rutgers that will erase the bitter taste of last weekend’s loss to Eastern Michigan. However, more important than the score is the fact that this is an opportunity for this team to get more experience playing together and to work on things that need to be improved. With Big Ten play looming, this game needs to serve a purpose in Rutgers getting better. In terms of Morgan State, they aren’t just an FCS team, but one of the worst in that entire subdivision. They lost to Albany last week 26-0 and have been held scoreless in both games this season. We need to see a dominant performance in all phases and for Rutgers to come out focused and sharp. It won’t change the pessimism that now exists for this season, but it’s a necessary step for this team before heading to Nebraska the following week. It would also benefit this team to build a big lead early, so the second half can provide opportunities for younger players to gain valuable game experience. Rutgers 38 Morgan State 0
Dave White: So the question to be asked is: What is the real Rutgers team? We've seen Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Is it the team that battled Washington to a standstill for nearly 3 quarters? Or is the real Rutgers the team that came out flat against EMU and could never catch up? My guess is it's somewhere in the middle. I'm not going to do football analysis here, but I am going to say this--I think this is a nervous Rutgers team right now. They're mostly young, they had a scare with Jerry Kill. I don't think they're as bad as EMU presented or as good as we thought after Washington. I think they're going to get hit in the mouth early as Morgan State looks to get a win. And then Rutgers wakes up. Rutgers wins this game going away but not before putting a short scare into fans. Rutgers 35 Morgan State 10.
Jim Hoffman: Oh, I was so sure and smug about how well Rutgers would do, no problem, Rutgers is severely underestimated in this game, blah, blah, blah...bleagh! OK, we’ve come back down to earth, and realized this is going to be a long slog of a season. However, despite all of the above, I still think that this is the game that will break the losing streak (thank goodness, and also, it had BETTER), which is now at almost a dozen games. In fact, if it doesn’t, we may not post a win until 2018 (or 2019, or 2020, or something like that). Morgan State is an FCS school, is currently 0-2, and the Bears have not yet scored a point yet this season, having lost to Towson (10-0) and Albany (26-0)! I am picking Rutgers to shut out Morgan State (I know, the eternal optimist) with the thinking that our defense is better than both Towson and Albany, both FCS schools. Rutgers 40 Morgan State 0
Patrick Mella: Welp, my prediction last week was about as impressive as Rutgers’ performance on the field against EMU. But the good news is that Rutgers will win this game. What that means for the season will probably not amount to much but it is another game for Bolin to get comfortable under center and the offensive line to get more cohesive as a unit. It’s going to take a few more wins to bring the crowd back but the fact that the team was able to hang with Washington shows me that the talent is there. If they had gotten blown out in the range of 50-60 points week one, I would not have the level of optimism that I still have.
I’m going to be looking for several things to take away from this game. I’d like to see Bolin go through his progression, instead of staring down his primary receiver on every passing play. Run the ball effectively and control the clock. On defense, I’m looking to see some of the young guys like Tyson Fogg to get into the mix. The defensive backs had a rough week against EMU and need a strong showing this game if nothing else than to get their confidence up. Rutgers 31, Morgan State 7
Bill Tharp: The defense should continue to be solid but will the offense be able to produce? Kyle Bolin needs to improve from last week’s disappointing performance, and will Johnathan Lewis finally get his chance? Rutgers should cruise in a must win game. Rutgers 21 Morgan State 0
Mike Voza: I'm sure we are all bubbling with confidence this week and are looking for a break out game from the Knights this week. This should be a big step forward for Kyle Bolin and everyone on the offensive side of the ball. I see Janarion Grant reaching the end zone four times this week. Not only will here arrive in front of the RU student body early and often, he will do it in each and every way he can. One TD pass reception, One TD rushing on a reverse, One TD on a punt return and he will return the opening kick off for an instant six point lead before the Alumni take their seats! ... Go RU Go ! Rutgers 37 Morgan State 7
What do you think will happen on Saturday? Sound off in the comments.