After a rough outing and a tough loss in Wisconsin, the Scarlet Knights return home to play Michigan State on Saturday. They come into this game as three-point favorites over the Spartans. Rutgers nation has some very high profile prospects visiting the banks of the Raritan on Saturday. To win over these prospects, the Rutgers faithful will need to be loud and show their passion. A win on Saturday will certainly help with that. Here are three things the knights must do to win and get the stadium rocking and rolling.
1. Score early:
Last game, Rutgers did not score until around two minutes left in the third quarter. That cannot happen again if they hope to beat Michigan State. The longer they take to put points on the board, the better chance that the Spartans have to steal the game. If Rutgers can find a way to punch MSU in the mouth on the first drive, it will set the tone for the rest of the game and go a long way toward a Rutgers win. The Knights also need to do this so the stadium is loud from the beginning, which will help show the prospects what Rutgers can be.
2. Spice up the offense
For a majority of the season, the Knights have run a fairly simple offense that relies a lot on the inside run and short passes. Now teams have started to key in on these units. While the passing attack is not the best, things can be done to throw off a defender’s rhythm and create a big play. Find a way to throw in some trickery to generate more production on offense so that the defense does not have to play lights out every game. In addition, a successful trick play is exciting which will contribute to the fan atmosphere.
3. Stay the course defensively
The defense is what is going to have to carry this team, hands down. We learned that in the Wisconsin game. If the defense is able to play the way that it has been, that will go a long way to beating the Spartans as they have not scored more than 16 points in any of their Power 5 matchups this season. Keep them off the board and the offense will hopefully pick up the slack.