With a disappointing loss in Iowa City last Saturday, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights will face an even bigger challenge this Saturday in Happy Valley. Penn State has dominated Rutgers throughout the series history and currently holds the series lead by 29 games. The Nittany Lions are also on a 16-game winning streak in the series. Here are three things the Knights need to do to break that streak.
3. Find an effective passing game
The passing game has left a lot to be desired this season. Costly pick sixes have cost Rutgers dearly in two out of their four losses. The completion percentages have not been good either as QB Gavin Wimsatt has only had a 50 plus completion percentage three times this season. Rutgers needs to find a way to throw the ball and add some diversity to their offense if they want to have a chance on Saturday.
2. Take some risks
Rutgers will have a rough time on Saturday if they don’t take some chances to give them a spark. Go for it on a reasonable fourth and short, throw in some trick plays, and try the long ball occasionally to see if it can develop into a big play. This is not a game that can be won lying back on their heels. The fumble-rooskie was a great spark against Ohio State. Try a couple more plays like that to see if they can grab momentum. The offense will need it.
1. Play Lights Out Defense
I have mentioned this several times before but Rutgers leans on its defense a lot to win. They will need to find a way to stonewall Penn State’s offense to give their own offense a fighting chance. Easier said than done but it’s reality. Winning the turnover battle will also be key so the Knight’s defense will need to find a way to create takeaways. Penn State’s offense has run roughshod over many weaker opponents this season, the Knights cannot let that happen.