The Rutgers Scarlet Knights currently sit at a record of 2-1 on the season. After a blowout loss against Washington, the Knights crushed Howard in their home opener. In their third game against New Mexico, the Knights fell down 21-0 early. They stormed all the way back to tie the game in the second quarter, and they would win the game by a final score of 37-28.
A Rough Road Ahead for Rutgers
The rest of the season for the Scarlet Knights doesn’t get any easier from here. Next week, they will host 13th ranked Iowa. Iowa may have fallen to FCS North Dakota State University, but they played to their full potential against the five-time defending FCS champions. Rutgers will need their offense to score often and have their defense stop Iowa as much as possible.
After hosting the Hawkeyes, the Knights travel to Columbus for what could be their toughest game of the season against the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes will come into this game as the #2 team in the country. The defense will have their hands full with quarterback JT Barrett and the Ohio State explosive offense.
Jim Harbaugh and Michigan come to Piscataway the following week. The Scarlet Knights were able to pull off an upset over Michigan the last time they came to Piscataway in 2014. That team wasn’t coached by Harbaugh, however. He has changed the Michigan team and has made them a powerhouse.
The next two games are against Illinois and Minnesota. Illinois could go in Rutgers favor. After a blowout win against Murray State, the Fighting Illini were blown out by North Carolina. They were even the underdog against Western Michigan University. Minnesota could be competition for the Knights, as the Golden Gophers have an impressive defense and will have the home crowd on their side.
November brings a real tough path. Rutgers starts by hosting Indiana on November 5th. They fell down big to Indiana early in last season’s meeting and were lucky to make the comeback to win, but they can not afford to do that again.
The following week brings Michigan State. The Spartans made the College Football Playoff last season, so that shows how tough they can be to beat. Not only that, but Sparty faces many tough challenges this season and have good shots at taking their tough opponents down.
The Knights close out the season against Penn State and Maryland, who defeated them in devastating fashion last season. Penn State pummeled Rutgers in their meeting last season, 28-3. Maryland came into Piscataway and overcame a 24-3 deficit to pull out the win and end Rutgers’ season.
Rutgers has their hands full the rest of the way. With head coach Chris Ash being a big offensive guy, they will look to pull off some big upsets and make it to a bowl game. They have not made it to a bowl game since the 2014-2015 season, their first season in the Big Ten, where they defeated North Carolina in the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit.