For the first time since 2003, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights will host the Virginia Tech Hokies in Piscataway. The Knights (2-0) are fresh off of a 36-7 victory against Temple, in which they pilled on 23 points in the fourth quarter to surge past the Owls. However, for most of the game, it was 13-0 Rutgers. The Rutgers offense got off to a slow start and took all four quarters to get rolling. This cannot continue if Rutgers plans to beat the Hokies. Here are three things that Rutgers needs to do to beat the Hokies on Saturday.
1. Play lights out defense (again)
It is a simple philosophy — they don’t score, they don’t win. It was clear since the beginning of the season that Rutgers was going to rely heavily on its defense to win games so why should that be the exception here? In addition, Virginia Tech has had a very potent passing offense the last two weeks, averaging 267 yards per game in that span. Rutgers will need to pressure the quarterback and find a way to slow the pass attack down to win.
2. Keep running the ball
The reason why Rutgers pulled away from Temple at the end of last weeks game is because Rutgers ran the ball well and wore the defense down. In addition, having a strong running game is a great thing for QB Gavin Wimsatt to lean on because it makes the game much more manageable. Finally, Rutgers gained 254 yards on 52 attempts last week and it worked. There is no reason to step away from that formula just yet.
3- Protect Gavin Wimsatt
If the Rutgers O-Line can keep the defense off Wimsatt, then he should have what he needs to get the job done. Last week, the Virginia Tech defense sacked their opponent three times for a total of 33 yards lost. However, they still surrendered a net total of 248 yards passing. This means that if Rutgers can keep Wimsatt safe, he should be able to find opportunities in the Hokies secondary.