There is certain game film that should be thrown away. Rutgers added another piece to the trash that has been the 2021 season on Saturday.
The Scarlet Knights turned the ball over four times, resulting in three Wisconsin touchdowns, during a 52-3 beatdown at SHI Stadium in front of 40,000 in Piscataway.
Turnovers have been key for Rutgers this season. The Scarlet Knights did not turn the ball over in any of their victories this season. They entered the weekend with a plus-four turnover margin, which was good for 25th nationally. This was the downfall on Saturday.
Rutgers was able to hang around early and even forced a turnover of its own. Avery Young picked off Graham Mertz but Noah Vedral quickly returned the favor. His interception led to a 14-yard score by Chez Mellusi. Rutgers suffered two losses on its next turnover. Aron Cruickshank made his return to the field after missing two games with a shoulder injury. He fumbled on a kick return and was helped off with what looked like a knee injury.
Wisconsin capitalized once again when Mertz found John Chenal for a one-yard score. On the ending possession for Rutgers, Vedral threw a pick six to Caesar Williams. The Badgers score two touchdowns in 14 seconds to open the game up 24-3. The rout was on.
Vedral finished 8-for-16 for 81 yards and two interceptions. He was unable to close the game due to an injury. Evan Simon committed fourth turnover of the game with a late interception.
Wisconsin lit up the Scarlet Knights for 579 total yards. Mertz finished with a season-high 240 yards and three touchdowns while Braelon Allen finished with 129 rushing yards, his fifth straight eclipsing the century mark. The Badgers rushed for 305 yards and gained six yards per carry.
The Scarlet Knights finished with just 207 total yards and was 1-for-11 on third down.
This is a team that is fighting for bowl eligibility. As the calendar turns to November, Rutgers is off to about as bad a start as possible.