In today’s era of college football, you have to score to win. This has been challenging for Rutgers this year and it is because of the lack of production in the passing attack.
Gavin Wimsatt currently ranks dead last in completion percentage among quarterbacks with at least 200 drop backs at 49%. Rutgers ranks 123rd out of 130 in terms of passing offense (146.2).
So, what is the reason for this and will it get better?
“Completions come as a result of protection, correct routes and then throwing and catching the football,” head coach Greg Schiano said during his press conference on Monday. “So everybody contributes. But at the end of the day, it goes on whose record? The quarterback’s. He gets the completion percentage. The receivers don’t; the line doesn’t. At the end of the day, we need to be more accurate with the ball for sure. So we’re working on it. But like everything else, we are developing, and I’m sure he’s going to get better at it.”
The Scarlet Knights came into the season lacking a No. 1 wide receiver on the outside. Nine games in, this remains a question mark but Christian Dremel has taken over the role at times. The tight end position remains nonexistent within the offense.
On the other hand, the offensive line has gelled nicely and taken big steps forward for the first time in Schiano’s second tenure.
Kyle Monangai has exploded this season and is n pace to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. The run game has been there consistently for Rutgers this season but is that enough? Not against good competition.
Let’s face it — the schedule for Rutgers was favorable and offered plenty of chances to put up stat stuffing numbers. This includes a breezy non-conference schedule and the likes of Northwestern and Indiana in conference play.
Rutgers currently ranks 72nd in the nation in points per game with 26.8. That number has dropped to 19.7 in Big Ten play and is at 12 against the toughest defenses on the schedule.
Rutgers scored seven points against Michigan, 13 against Wisconsin, and 16 against Ohio State. In all three games, Wimsatt has thrown pick six that shifted momentum. The elite defenses of Iowa and Penn State remain on the schedule. Those will not be favorable matchups for this Scarlet Knight offense.
Iowa will be upcoming this week. The saving grace in this matchup is that Iowa’s offense is struggling worse than Rutgers. There are many that are enamored with the ground game, including the production from Wimsatt, but to be able to score consistently, Rutgers needs to begin throwing the ball effectively.
“Is it holding it back? No, because I think Gavin does so much to help our offense,” Schiano said. “Does it have to get better? Absolutely it has to get better.”