The Kent State Golden Flashes neutralized Rutgers star quarterback Gary Nova and forced him into six turnovers to knock off the unbeaten Scarlet Knights two weeks ago.
That’s given the team time to lick its wounds and prepare for a patriotic Veterans’ Day weekend matchup against the Army Black Knights.
Rutgers, if you haven’t heard, will be donning these flashy new helmets to show their support for the country’s armed forces.
With a season-finale showdown with No. 9-ranked Louisville looming, this season is far from over for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have still got everything riding on winning out their remaining schedule until the Cardinals come to Piscataway to presumably fight for the Big East Championship.
Motivation from a possible BCS bowl appearance and the two-week rest they’ve just enjoyed should be enough to correct the mistakes and make adjustments for Army’s first-ranked rushing offense. Rutgers hasn’t played a very tough schedule to this point, but is sixth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 14.3 points per game.
Stopping the run has been a huge contributor to that success.
The Scarlet Knights boast the fourth-ranked rushing defense in the league, allowing just 88.5 yards per game on the ground. They’ve surrendered an average of just 171.3 yards per game on the ground in the previous seven matchups against the Black Knights.
No matter what happens this weekend, the Scarlet Knights would like to win their final nonconference matchup before a tough stretch of Big East games to finish their season. They’ll travel to both Cincinnati and Pittsburgh before hosting the finale date with Louisville.
Who better to have on the schedule than an Army team that Rutgers has beaten eight consecutive times by an average of 21 points?
Keeping their Top 25 ranking and building momentum after the disappointing loss to Kent State are also strong motivators for the team. If it can get back on track with an impressive performance, Rutgers may be able to get back the confidence that helped it to eight consecutive wins to begin the season.