Rutgers Football Rolls to Fast Start

Scarlet Knights Perfect in Season Opening Games

Patrick Moore, Staff Writer

The Rutgers University football team has completed its non-conference schedule with convincing home victories against the Temple Owls (61 – 14) and the Delaware Blue Hens (45 – 13) and a gutsy win at the Carrier Dome over the Syracuse Orange (17 – 7).

In defeating Delaware last weekend, the Rutgers offense, lead by quarterback Noah Vedral made some important plays, including a 62-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Sanders. In a preseason interview with the Big Ten Network, Rutgers (and former Delbarton) offensive coordinator Sean Gleason predicted  “I think that we could take a big step forward this year in the way that we complete the ball +15 yards downfield.” So far, this prediction appears to be coming true.   

Now it is time for “big boy” football however, as Rutgers begins its 2021 Big Ten schedule with a game at National Power Michigan this Sunday. The Wolverines are currently ranked number 19 in the latest Associated Press poll. After that game, Rutgers returns home to play Ohio State, with the Buckeyes currently ranked number 12 in the nation, on October 2. 

In his post-game press conference after the Delaware game, Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano remarked that it “sounds like Michigan’s back to being Michigan, and we had our crack last year and didn’t do it. So now we’re going on the road and we got to find a way against a very good football team.” I think the keys to Rutgers finding a way to upset the Wolverines will require (1) an elite defensive effort against the Wolverine run game; (2) great special teams plan behind Rutgers punter Adam Korsak and kick returner Aron Cruickshank; and (3) Vedral and the offense doing just enough squeak the game out.  

If Rutgers can manage to win one of these game against Michigan or Ohio State, Rutgers prospects to make a bowl game would greatly improve because they could still win three games on their remaining schedule with Michigan State, Northwestern, Illinois, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Indiana, Penn State and in the season finale against Maryland. 

Stay tuned for more articles about Rutgers football!