PISCATAWAY – A way of déjà vu settled over SHI Stadium as the sphere descended into shadows early Saturday night. For the third straight season Rutgers is 3-0, due to a 35-16 win over Virginia Tech.
As a result of that’s actually the essence of the 2023 marketing campaign. Progress can be measured from this level ahead, after the Scarlet Knights had been unable to capitalize on a quick begin the previous two seasons. If there’s been development, the following few months would be the final measuring stick.
Extra:Three causes Rutgers soccer beat Virginia Tech to enhance to 3-0
“I do not know the importance. We labored actually arduous to be 3-0,” Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano stated.
“So we’ll chill out a bit bit tonight after which it is proper again to work tomorrow. We all know what’s coming. We all know what’s coming the remainder of the yr. I imply, that is the league we play in. That is what we love about it.”
And who wouldn’t have signed for 4-1 on the finish of September, with seven video games left to get not solely bowl eligible, however maybe do a bit higher. And the important thing to that situation was successful their first three, with the Hokies looming as the largest impediment in that quest.
Mission achieved. As a result of even when Rutgers loses like they’re presupposed to subsequent week at Michigan, they’re just about assured of beating FCS-foe Wagner in a gimmie sport to shut out the month.
There’s nonetheless loads of inquiries to be answered, however that occurs within the coming weeks. All of the Scarlet Knights have finished is make it fascinating.
Talking of fascinating, that’s what this sport turned within the second half after it seemed like Rutgers was going to win it in type, constructing a 21-3 halftime lead towards their former Huge East rivals. Then Virginia Tech, coming off a 24-17 loss to Purdue, rallied with a pair of TDs, pulling to inside 21-16 early within the fourth quarter.
However the locals breathed a sigh of aid when Kyle Monangai broke a fourth-quarter landing run, and the protection got here up with an enormous cease on fourth down with 6:48 to play, giving Rutgers the respiratory room it wanted. Monangai then put the sport away with a 12-yard TD run with 3:20 to play.
Proper now, there isn’t a lot to tell apart this group from the earlier two years. General, the protection was stable on this one, and has given up simply 30 factors in three video games.
“We did not play our greatest at instances, however our guys figured it out. That is a part of it,” Schiano stated.
Bowl desires for Rutgers
Getting two extra wins received’t be simple, with a gauntlet that begins in October with a visit to Wisconsin, with video games towards Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State nonetheless to return. However video games towards Indiana, Iowa and Maryland present higher measuring sticks, with at the very least an opportunity of attending to the .500 mark, or higher.
No less than with a win over Virginia Tech there’s a degree of intrigue.
Who is aware of how this protection will maintain up towards Michigan’s offense, nevertheless it actually seems like they may be capable of land a couple of pictures towards the Wolverines the best way they’re enjoying proper now.
And the maturation of quarterback Gavin Wimsatt, because the offense continues to lurch ahead, can be an interesting case examine, as Schiano tries to develop a participant who can lead this system to the following degree.
Rutgers did what it wanted to towards Virginia Tech, coming off a 24-17 loss to Purdue. They obtained a turnover within the opening minutes of the sport that the offense changed into a landing one play later, they usually by no means let the Hokies get all the best way again.
“We would have liked that takeaway,” Schiano stated. “The 2 takeaways gave us a possibility. The nice factor, we obtained the ball down within the crimson zone and we scored three touchdowns within the crimson zone. That is not simple to do. We obtained to maintain doing that.”
They constructed a 21-3 lead halftime lead on a Wimsatt to Christian Dremel TD hookup with 4 seconds on the clock.
Subsequent up for Rutgers: No. 2 Michigan
Now Rutgers will get an opportunity to land a roundhouse punch towards No. 2 Michigan, though it’s seemingly the Wolverines are going to land a bunch of their very own.
Sure, we’ve been right here earlier than. The inspiration is as soon as once more set. All that is still is for coach Greg Schiano’s Scarlet Knights to indicate that they’re constructing one thing on it.