Previewing The Enemy: Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Onto the next one.
Despite losing last week’s game against Michigan that sealed its hopes of winning the Big Ten or making the College Football Playoff, life goes on for Penn State football as it hosts Rutgers at noon on Saturday, November 18, in Beaver Stadium.
Like the Nittany Lions, the Scarlet Knights are coming off a 22-0 loss at Iowa. It’s the first time all season the feisty squad has been shut out, but will it happen again this week? Let’s take a look.
Rutgers is having quite the season under head coach Greg Schiano. It became bowl-eligible for just the second time under Schiano, as the team has a 6-4 overall record and is tied for fourth in the Big Ten East with a 3-4 record.
Schiano is in his second stint as head coach after beginning in 2020. He has registered an 18-25 record with a Gator Bowl appearance in 2021 so far.
Schiano previously coached the Scarlet Knights from 2001 to 2011, going 68-67 with six bowl game appearances, five of which were consecutive. He left in 2012 to be the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but went 11-21 in two seasons on the job.
Kirk Ciarrocca, who formerly held Penn State’s offensive coordinator spot, has the same role in Piscataway and is in his fourth season. Meanwhile, Joe Harasymiak is in his second season as the defensive coordinator.
Ciarrocca’s offense is averaging 24 points per game. The run-heavy group has gained 3,105 yards this season.
Gavin Wimsatt is Rutgers’ starting quarterback. He’s thrown 1,356 yards, eight touchdowns, and six interceptions while maintaining a 48.21% completion rate. He also has 468 rushing yards and touchdowns, which is good for second-most on the team.
Kyle Monangai is the focal point of the Rutgers offense. He’s rushed for 980 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
Rutgers doesn’t tend to utilize its receivers much. Christian Dremel has been Wimsatt’s top target, and he has just 390 receiving yards and three touchdowns. JaQuae Jackson is second with 331 yards and just one touchdown. Meanwhile, Isaiah Washington and Ian Strong split third-spot reps. Washington has 185 yards and a touchdown, while Strong has 182 and two, respectively.
Linebacker Deion Jennings leads the team with 75 total tackles. Mohamed Toure, who lines up next to Jennings, is second with 68. Along with the tackles, Jennings also has two pass breakups and an interception. Tyreem Powell also sees action, and he’s fourth on the team with 53 tackles.
Meanwhile, Robert Longerbeam and Max Melton line up at left and right cornerback, respectively, while Desmond Igbinosun is the nickelback. Igbinosun leads the group in tackles with 47 total tackles while also posting 5.5 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. However, Melton leads the team with six pass breakups and two interceptions.
Shaquan Loyal and Flip Dixon are the starting safeties. Dixon has 58 total tackles, five breakups, and an interception, while Loyal has 49 total tackles and a pick.
On the defensive line, Aaron Lewis and Wesley Bailey are the defensive ends. Meanwhile, Isaiah Iton and Troy Rainey are the defensive tackles, while Mayan Ahanotu starts at nose tackle.
Punter Flynn Appleby is averaging 39 yards per punt so far this season. Jai Patel handles field goal duties, and he’s 11-for-13. Jude McAtamney is on kickoff duty and is averaging 60 yards per attempt.
Eric Rogers has a punt return for a touchdown in his lone attempt this season. However, Loyal is the lead on punt returns with a 15-yard average. Meanwhile, Rashad Rochelle handles kickoff returns with 55 average yards on his two attempts.
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About the Author
The ranking comes after the Nittany Lions’ 27-6 victory over Rutgers.
The concert’s opener will be the band almost monday, which is best known for its single “only wanna dance.”
McSorley has spent time in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, and the Bears.