After a valiant effort in a loss to No. 1 Ohio State, a game that was much closer than the ending score gives credit for, Rutgers will look to rebound this week with a win over Iowa. The Scarlet Knights have lost all three previous matchups to the Hawkeyes. Here are three things the Knights can do to secure their first win over Iowa.
1. Limit penalties
To put it simply, the Iowa offense is bad. They currently sit in last place in teams of yards gained on offense and in second to last place on points per game. Rutgers needs to take advantage of this and to do that they cannot give Iowa free yards. Penalties on offense can stall drives and penalties on defense can help Iowa’s fledging offense get down the field. Rutgers needs to be able to wear down Iowa’s defense with long sustained drives followed up by points and the defense getting the ball back quickly. A penalty free game will go a long way to accomplish this.
2. No turnovers
Last year, Iowa ran two turnovers back to the house against Rutgers. This was one of the major reasons, if not the reason Rutgers lost that game. History cannot repeat itself like that. Iowa’s offense isn’t great but given extra opportunities they could find their momentum. If Rutgers’s offense can keep itself on the field it should be able to wear down Iowa’s defense enough to get the win.
3. Capitalize on long drives
Rutgers has done a good job at sustaining long drives so far this season, and while that will be crucial to this game, Rutgers must find a way to score touchdowns at the end of their drives. Rutgers had three solid chances against Ohio State to score touchdowns in the first half but was forced to settle for field goals. Iowa loves to play ugly low-scoring games, its where they have fared best this season. Finishing long drives with touchdowns will help Rutgers ensure that it does not get caught in the trap of playing “Iowa’s Game” while simultaneously wearing down Iowa’s tough defense.