Saturday was a beautiful day overall for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Just an hour before kickoff, New Jersey saw its first glimpse of the sun in what seemed like weeks of storm clouds and constant overcast. The conditions were perfect for a game day. And a near-perfect game day it was for Rutgers, earning a 52-3 win over Wagner.
The game festivities started off with a special touch. Saturday, Samuel Brown IV was more than just the proud parent of a Rutgers running back. He held the honor of singing the national anthem to a stadium full of saluting fans in scarlet.
Rutgers’ Offense Showed Long-Lasting Strength
Rutgers’ first drive of the game ended in settling for a field goal. When another fourth down came around in the second drive, Rutgers fans began to doubt their predictions of the game’s turnout. Was the team going to have to settle for another field goal?
They decided to go for it.
A four-yard pass from Gavin Wimsatt to Christian Dremel brought the Scarlet Knights their first of what would be seven touchdowns. Special teams had an easy day being that Rutgers scored on every single drive. The remaining touchdowns were seen from Wimsatt (two), Kyle Monangai, Ja’shon Benjamin, Aaron Young, and Samual Brown V.
Rutgers passed for a total of 169 yards, coming from a combination of Wimsatt and backup quarterback Ajani Sheppard. Sheppard made his season debut later in the game when Rutgers had way past secured the win.
JaQuae Jackson was the leading receiver this week with 71 yards gained.
The team rushed a total of 268 yards. To no surprise, the leading running back this week was once again Monangai, who rushed for 87 yards from 19 attempts.
The Force is Strong with the Rutgers Defense
A cold chill sweeps through the stadium as the familiar notes from Star Wars Imperial Attack flood the speakers. Rutgers’ defense, nicknamed the Dark Side, has taken the field.
Wagner’s quarterback, Steven Krajewski, was put through the wringer and suffered three sacks. These sacks were completed by the efforts of Mohamed Toure, Shaquan Loyal, and Isaiah Iton. Toure had a strong performance this week, with four tackles and three assists. Max Melton, the a-lister of Rutgers’ defense, achieved one tackle and one assist this week.
By the game’s end, Wagner had rushed for 83 yards and passed for a meek 23. The Dark Side proved to be a force you should not reckon with.
Tom Masella Shows Irritation with Rutgers
Wagner’s head coach, Tom Masella, showed visible irritation during the fourth quarter. He seemingly was under the impression that given the huge gap on the scoreboard, Rutgers would ease up during the last quarter and give Wagner a break.
Greg Schiano and the Rutgers squad had a different ending in mind. To Masella’s dismay, the Scarlet Knights kept their momentum until the game’s end. When you’re in Rutgers’ shoes and a bowl game is a possible reality, every point matters. Unfortunately for Wagner, this was a game Rutgers knew they had a chance to run up the scoreboard.
Big Ten Standings
After this weekend’s roundups, Rutgers sits in fifth place out of seven teams in the Big Ten East. Michigan State and Indiana fall beneath them. Luckily for Rutgers, only two more wins are needed to secure a bowl game and the Scarlet Knights have yet to face either of those teams.
Taking a look at the Big Ten West, Northwestern, Illinois, and Nebraska have records that fall below that of Rutgers’. Northwestern, who was Rutgers’ first win of the season, now has a record of 2-3.
Next week, the Scarlet Knights will travel to Wisconsin to face the leaders of the Big Ten West.