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OTB Staff Predictions: Liberty at Rutgers

Find out how our contributors see Saturday’s game playing out

Minnesota v Rutgers Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

It’s here, the best chance for Rutgers to win a football game the rest of the season. It won’t end the 19 game losing streak to power five opponents, but it would prevent a third straight year losing to a non-power five opponent at home. So there is that. There hasn’t been anything to cheer about at all since Labor Day, but hopefully playing a team that Rutgers SHOULD be more talented than will change that. The run game should be more effective and there is a chance both Johnny Langan and Cole Snyder will play under center, giving the Scarlet Knights a different look. Liberty gave up 44 points last week to FCS school Maine, but they also scored 59 points and have won five straight games. Rutgers is a touchdown underdog as of Friday morning. How do our contributors see Saturday’s game playing out? Let’s kick off the predictions now.

David Anderson: Rutgers could win. My concern is that Liberty has a more than competent offense, while Rutgers does not. I’m not certain Liberty will score 30 points, but they should score at least 24. The path to Rutgers scoring that many probably requires a defensive or special teams touchdown unless Rutgers can just overpower the Flames on the line. Rutgers hasn’t overpowered anyone really, especially lately. Prove me wrong Rutgers, please! Liberty 27 Rutgers 20

Danny Burrick: Finally a game where Rutgers has a shot to win! I’m looking for a breakout game from running back Isaiah Pacheco. I do not think this will be a very high scoring game due to the Rutgers offense not being able to produce good drives and same with Liberty. All of Rutgers Nation is hoping Rutgers can edge Liberty and get the win. Rutgers 21 Liberty 17

Nick Kosko: Is there actually a chance? Hmm. Well. Oh please don’t make me do this. Liberty is a road favorite against a Big Ten team. Think about that for a second. Rutgers is currently a seven point underdog and I’m surprised it’s not more after it opened up at -4. The problem is, it’s really hard to trust the offense to score any points. Now can the defense keep them in game like they did against a very good Minnesota team last week (before the wheels came off)? Sure. But is Johnny Langan going to drive the team for at least 17 points, which still might be enough? They’ll have to prove me wrong this week. Please. Pretty Please. Liberty 28 Rutgers 7

Patrick Mella: I know very little about Liberty (the university is by Jersey City, no?). But I do know Rutgers well and this team is just in shambles right now. They’ve got a passing game that is just brutal to watch, a defense that continues to give up massive amounts of yards, an offense line that gets blown off the ball, you can just go on and on. There’s a reason why they’re dogs at home. Right now it doesn’t take an uber talented team to put a beating on Rutgers. For these reasons I believe they lose this week and it’s not very close. Liberty 31 Rutgers 10

Dave White: 13 days until basketball. A month or so until a new football coach. It’s supposed to be a nice day tomorrow so go outside and have a coffee. Liberty 21 Rutgers 14

Fred Gaudios: I was in Vegas last weekend with several of my Rutgers tailgate friends, and we all agreed at the end of the trip that our biggest regret was not betting the entire freaking ranch on Minnesota -28.5. The spread bet against Rutgers was the lock of the weekend, we all won it but not nearly enough. What changes against Liberty? I know very little about Liberty football, except their coach sometimes has to coach from the booth, but I know they have to be better than we are right now (unfortunately). Let’s say Liberty 27 Rutgers 14 and the march continues...

Aaron Breitman: I want to see it, I really do. But I just don’t. I can’t see how Rutgers will be able to put up 20+ points that I think it will take to win the game. Perhaps Isaih Pacheco, Kay’Ron Adams, and Aaron Young can run all over the Flames and Rutgers can control the game on the ground, but too little offensive production this season doesn’t inspire confidence. Maybe Cole Snyder comes in and save the day? It’s possible. Even if the offense can be productive, the defense has had trouble stopping anyone for four quarters and Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze is going to pull out all of the stops for a chance to beat a Big Ten team. Liberty 35 Rutgers 17

Cara Sanfilippo: I talked to my dad about this game last night, and the fact that we can’t guarantee a win against a college founded in recent history by the guy from the 700 Club is so sad. Man, this is rock bottom. However, I am willing a win for the team who knows this is probably their only chance this season. I am expecting we see Cole Snyder, and maybe he gives a spark. I think defense will keep the score down. I have to predict a win, because I will be traveling in November and this is my last home game I will be attending for the season. I will see Nick’s pretty please, and raise him a pretty please with ice cream and a cherry on top. Rutgers 17 Liberty 14

Six contributors picked Liberty and two brave souls picked Rutgers. Are we too pessimistic or just keeping it real? How do you see the game playing out? Let us know in the comment section.