A defensive battle was the expectation but it could not prepare anyone for the performance on Saturday afternoon.
Rutgers has been unable to produce much offensive consistency over the course of the season and it hit a new low in Iowa City. The Scarlet Knights were held to just 127 total yards, 34 rushing, and seven first downs.
The Scarlet Knights were kept off the scoreboard during a 22-0 loss to Iowa in what could have been described as the bowl game to see who was the worst offense in the Big Ten. This marks the first shutout for Iowa since 2019.
Rutgers had 11 offensive possessions in the game and punted nine times. The other two ended in a kneel down before halftime and a Gavin Wimsatt interception. Wimsatt, who entered the game with the lowest competition percentage in the nation at 49%, finished 7-for-18 for 93 yards and one interception.
The area where Rutgers was able to gain some momentum this season was on the ground. That was halted as well as Kyle Monangai rushed 13 times for 39 yards.
The theme this season has been the defense attempting to keep Rutgers in games. That was the case once again over the first two quarters. Iowa took a 3-0 lead into the locker room but scored 19 points in the second half using favorable field position.
A third quarter punt set the Hawkeyes up near midfield and they marched 54 yards for a touchdown. Iowa returned a Wimsatt interception to the nine-yard line and it ended in the end zone.
Against one of the best defensive teams in the nation, Rutgers was overpowered and that is how this series has gone. The Scarlet Knights have scored just 17 points in four games against Iowa and has now been shutout twice in the series.
The road does not get any easier as Rutgers travels to Penn State to take on the Nittany Lions next Saturday.
Let’s face it — Rutgers benefitted from a favorable schedule. When the road for tough, the offense showed its true colors. The defense has been one of the best in the nation and that is no fluke. Offensively, Rutgers is not close.