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2021 Rutgers Football Game Preview #3 vs. Delaware

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The Scarlet Knights will look to make it 3-0 on Saturday against Delaware.

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

How To Watch, Stream & Listen

Delaware at Rutgers

Where: SHI Stadium, Piscataway, NJ

Kick-off: Saturday, September 18 at 3:30 PM ET

Weather: 85 degrees, partly cloudy with a 13% chance of rain, 5-10 mph wins

TV: Big Ten Network with Lisa Byington (play-by-play), Matt Millen (color), Krystle Rich (sideline)

BTN Gamefinder

Stream: FOX Sports App

Radio: Radio: RWJBarnabas Health Rutgers Sports Network (WCTC 14-50-AM, WOR 710-AM, XM 196, Sirius 106) with Chris Carlin (play-by-play), Mike Teel and Eric LeGrand (analyst) and Anthony Fucilli (sideline); WRSU 88.7 FM - Jack Schmied & Doug Willig

Current Spread: N/A

Series History: Rutgers leads, 15-13-3; last meeting was in 1973 with Rutgers winning 24-7

Statistical Leaders

Rutgers

Passing: Noah Vedral - 37-for-55, 67.3%, 283 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

Rushing: Isaih Pacheco- 85 yards on 33 carries, 2.6 ypc, 1 touchdowns

Receiving: Bo Melton - 14 catches for 102 yards, 7.3 ypc, 1 touchdowns

Defense: Olakunle Fatukasi - 19 tackles and 3 sacks, Max Melton - 2 interception

Delaware

Passing: Nolan Henderson - 32-for-52, 61.5%, 521 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

Rushing: Dejoun Lee- 117 yards on 30 carries, 3.9 ypc, 1 touchdown

Receiving: Thyrick Pitts - 8 catches for 177 yards, 22.1 ypc, 2 touchdowns

Defense: Colby Reeder - 11 tackles, Anthony Toro - 1 sack, Colby Reeder & Liam Trainer - 1 interception

What To Watch For

When Rutgers has the ball

The Scarlet Knights need to figure out how to get their offense going. The big plays have not been there and the run game is nonexistent. With that being said, there is still time to turn it around and it can begin with this game against Delaware.

The Blue Hens are an FCS team but that does not mean they won’t fight. Greg Schiano and Rutgers know this and will be prepared for whatever is thrown at them.

“I know that these guys are really good,” Schiano said. “I think our players know that. There is definitely different levels of FCS games you can schedule. We all understand what that means.”

Delaware is one of the top FCS teams in the nation but Rutgers should be able to get on top early. This should be the ultimate goal, obviously to win the game, but also to work on different aspects. The Scarlet Knights need to establish the run game. Isaih Pacheco has just 85 yards on the year and it averaging 2.6 yards per carry. Once the Big Ten schedule begins, Rutgers will need to run the ball effectively to sustain drives.

All together, the offense has been a huge work-in-progress. Despite the lack of explosiveness, the Scarlet Knights have not turned the ball over and have just committed five penalties in two games. They have been a disciplined unit and now it is all about gaining that consistency offensively.

When Delaware has the ball

Just like Rutgers, the Blue Hens have not turned the ball over and have committed just five penalties in two games. They have a strong air attack, led by Nolan Henderson, but Big Ten competition is different. Delaware has played Maine and St. Francis to this point.

The Blue Hens will have to protect the ball in this game. Rutgers’ defense has been creating turnovers and making it difficult on opponents. As always, this will be the difference in the game. Delaware is not going to make it easy on the Scarlet Knights but in the end, the competition could be too much to handle.

“This is not going to be an easy one, I know that,” Schiano said. “Like the first two we played, it is going to be a remarkable challenge. Guys have to step up to the challenge. I know their guys are going to, so we’ll see what happens.”

Could Rutgers win this game?

For the third week in a row, Rutgers is expected to win a football game. The Scarlet Knights are coming off a big road challenge and did it successfully. Returning home against an FCS team should not make anyone nervous. With that being said, Rutgers is still not good enough to just go through the motions and win a game. This is not the vibe around the team with Schiano leading the way so the Scarlet Knights will be ready.

Final thoughts

Throughout the entire preseason, it was said that Rutgers had to be 3-0 heading into Big Ten play. It does not get easier with Michigan and Ohio State beginning conference play so they cannot get tripped up. We have seen FCS teams pulling off upsets all season so the Scarlet Knights will have to avoid this.

Establish the run, continue to be disciplined, take the ball away — these will be keys to victory for Rutgers all season long. If they do all three, Delaware will have some trouble keeping up.