The Rutgers Football team had a bye week this past Saturday, while many of their Big Ten brethren and this week’s opponent Boston College struggled.
Hindsight is 20/20, so let’s dive in.
Expectations for the Big Ten this past weekend
- Despite Indiana coming into the game 2-0, I thought Ohio State would at some point just pour it on. (Result: Yes.)
- Pitt and Penn State would play a close game. Iowa and Iowa State would be close as well. (Result: Yes.)
- Michigan State’s offense would get it together against a Pac-12 team. (Result: No.)
- Maryland would eventually just overrun Temple. (Result: No.)
- Illinois is simply better than directional Michigans. (Result: No.)
- Nebraska would struggle early. (Result: Just a tad.)
Initial reactions Saturday
- Wow, this Pitt-Penn State game is pretty tight. (Film verdict: Correct)
- What will happen with this MSU game? I really had no idea how it would turn out. (Film verdict: Both offenses eventually did something)
- Anthony Russo is throwing for a lot of yards, Temple is eventually going to score some points. (Film verdict: Not really)
- Illinois is WORSE than directional Michigans. (Result: The teams were almost identical in the stat lines.)
- Minnesota is going to pull some magic out of a hat because Georgia Southern was so lucky on those two defensive TDs. (Result: Karma is not dead.)
Sunday-Monday morning quarterback
- What heck was Pitt doing on that 4th and goal at the 1 yard line? Even if you make the field goal, you are still down by 4. You need to have faith to get 1 yard or you don’t deserve to win anyway. Even if you are stopped, PSU gets the ball inside their own 1. Maybe you get a safety or good field position again. Play to win, especially on the road. I do think Pat Narduzzi is a better coach than Chris Ash right now, but I was never convinced he was the right coach for RU. And Narduzzi’s explanation that they needed to score twice to win the game was the worst CYA ever. It’s called overtime when they give you the ball on the opponent’s 25 yard-line.
- Can everyone hide every copy of that MSU-ASU film from Chris Ash? Herman Edwards’s Sun Devils pulled out the type of win Ash has attempted so many times with no level of success.
- Northwestern, thanks for helping the Big Ten save some face.
- Purdue, thanks for showing us how much quarterback play matters.
- If Chris Ash cannot win three more games the rest of the way, it’s ridiculous. The opponents on this year’s schedule are less formidable than they looked a week ago. Rutgers isn’t a great team, but if you can just be competitive, sometimes the balls will bounce your way late. You can’t just play it safe to avoid mistakes and expect that will get a W, right Pitt!?!?!?!?!
Purdue quarterback Jack Plummer (starting for an injured Elijah Sindelar) threw for 181 yards AND still had a QBR of 5.8. Rutgers would take 181 yards passing in seemingly every game at this point, even if it was completing just 13 of 29 passes. That is a reality check.
Initial takeaways from BC’s 48-24 upset loss to Kansas
- BC took a 17-7 lead in the first quarter and their offense kept playing pretty well in the first half, but the Eagle defense just got gauged in the second quarter.
- What the heck happened to the BC offense in the second half? All I could tell was that Kansas just wanted it more. They just wanted to be there more.
- Kansas played faster, particularly at the linebacker position. BC’s linebackers didn’t know which way to go. When they crashed down, passes beat them over the top. When they dropped back, Kansas took advantage of the space underneath and was tough to tackle in the open field. Expect a lot of film study for the LBs and some soul searching.
- Pooka Williams is a legit 4-star talent, his games last year were not an aberration.
- The difference in Kansas last year (unable to throw the ball at all) to this game, Carter Stanley 20-27, 238 yards is incredible. Goes to show again how coaching and quarterback play is pretty much half the battle. They had a 48 game road losing streak against P5 competition.
I could break down the BC offense at nauseam, but like most games, this Rutgers-BC matchup is likely only to have one team show up and really want it. Whichever squad that is will win UNLESS the Rutgers passing attack is just so terrible, it doesn’t even matter. Flip a coin on that with the variables of the week off, McLane Carter’s health, and wide receiver inconsistency.
Weekends like this past one are what make college football so great. Similar to the week before though, it added fuel to the fire burning in the Rutgers Football fan base that we just need our Scarlet Knights to play competitive football. Unfortunately for the Rutgers coaching staff, now that we know Boston College is not as good as everyone thought even through the first quarter Saturday, keeping the score close in a sloppy game won’t be enough to show significant improvement.