Two weeks ago, Rutgers secured bowl eligibility for the first time since 2014 and headed into their bye week with a 6-2 record. Despite the impressive start to the season, many discredit the work the Knights have done by saying that they have not beaten anybody good. Now, they have the No. 1 team in the country coming to the banks this Saturday. The Knights can change a lot of opinions about their team if they can just put up a strong fight, much less win. Here are three things that they can do to help that.
3. Sustain Long Drives
The Knights will need to keep the Buckeye’s defense on the field for most of the game if they hope to be competitive. The strategy of wearing down their opponent that they have used in previous games will need to be executed perfectly to keep the game from getting out of hand. This will call for a lot of inside run plays and short passes that take time to go up and down the field. Of course, these drives must end in seven points.
2. Attack the Football
A turnover margin in favor of Rutgers will go a long way toward keeping this game competitive. This plays into the need for Rutgers to keep its defense off the field as well as this is the quickest way for the defense to get off the field. In addition, the offense could benefit from shorter fields depending on where the turnovers occur. The defense must find quick ways to get the ball back so the offense can wear down the Buckeye defense even more.
1. Make a play on special teams
Special teams have been a bright spot and a jump starter for the Knights in their last two games. The two fumble recoveries against Michigan State, the one versus Indiana, and the blocked punt vs Indiana helped turn the tide of both games in the Knight’s favor. For the Knights to remain competitive they will need a couple of big plays from all units to keep momentum going. In addition, getting a big play on special teams can do wonders for a team’s confidence, especially against a daunting opponent.