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OTB Staff Roundtable Predictions: Wagner at Rutgers

Our staff makes predictions for the Week 2 home opener for the Scarlet Knights.

2022 Big Ten Conference Football Media Days Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Scarlet Knights are less than 24 hours away from opening the home portion of the schedule against Wagner. Heading into the 4 P.M. ET kickoff, our staff gives some predictions on how this game might turn out.

John Catapano: Ah, the home opener on a beautiful fall Saturday on the banks. After listening to the podcast with David Anderson, I went back and watched Willie Tyler on that final drive, and my oh my. He couldn’t even IHOP anyone because the D-lineman was running away from him. A true road grader!

I want to see RU get Gavin comfy in the read-option this week. No need for the Johnny-Evan-Gavin show on the 1st drive. Let Gavin run the show in the first half and if the score gets out of hand, let Evan get his reps. I have little concern about the running game (minus cleaning up penalties). I would like to see the receivers and tight ends get more involved in a vertical passing game that will be needed when B1G play starts. Rutgers 34, Wagner 10. (My prediction last week was RU 31 BC 23).

Erik Vesper: I fully expect another standout performance from the defensive line when they square up against a Wagner Seahawk team that surrendered three sacks last week when they took on Fordham. Kyonte Hamilton, a rising star at defensive tackle who picked up a big tackle-for-loss in the second quarter against Boston College last week, could be in line for a breakout game.

Although Coach Schiano was notably non-committal when asked if the two-QB system would be the plan going forward, I expect we see a healthy dose of Gavin Wimsatt early and often in this game. Rutgers 43, Wagner 9.

Cara Sanfilippo: All week when I said that Rutgers was going to win this week, I had family members warning me of superstition. I am Italian, so I know all about superstition, however; this is a Wagner team that has lost their last 21 games and gave up 48 points to Fordham. I feel bad because it kind of feels like Rutgers football under Chris Ash but we need to dominate for me to feel hopeful about this season. Hopefully, this game gives Schiano and company time to work out a lot of the kinks we saw last week with his young players and figure out the QB situation. I will be there with bells on. Rutgers 52, Wagner 10

Justin Raffone: There isn’t much to predict with this game. Rutgers should have a 100% chance of winning against FCS Wagner. It won’t be a fun game for the Seahawks and it could get quite boring for the Scarlet Knight’s starters, who should be pulled early. This game will be more about fine tuning some things and then getting younger guys some run in a real game situation. Rutgers will run away with this game and look forward to their game at Temple next week. Rutgers 63, Wagner 0.

Greg Patuto: The first home game is always a special one and it is even better with a win. To say that Rutgers needs to run away in this one is an understatement. Wagner has not won a game in nearly three years and is coming off a performance allowing 48 points to Fordham. The Scarlet Knights will dominate on the defensive side of the ball and have a chance to get some new faces into the game. Maybe the Seahawks sneak into the end zone late in the fourth quarter. Rutgers 52, Wagner 7.