On Saturday evening, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-1) defended their home field against the Wagner Seahawks (2-3) in dominating fashion. The Seahawks attempted to slow the game down by limiting the Knights' opportunities, however the Knights' defense continued to win first and second down making it much more difficult for an inferior to consistently pick up third and longs. Although Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano commends Wagner’s head coach Tom Masella for his efforts, this wasn’t enough to keep Rutgers from pulling away, 52-3.
“Wagner did a great job, in fact, they did it exactly how I would have done it,” Schiano expresses. “They shortened the game by slowing the game down … and continued to take the opportunities away from the team that has more and better players. Going into the game we knew it was going to be that too. Tommy [Tom Masella] is an excellent coach and he had a plan.”
The defense of the Scarlet Knights continued to display their dominance as they continue to become more effective on a weekly basis. On Saturday, the Knights' defense only allowed 55 total yards in the first half and only 106 yards for the entirety of the game. Each week, the communication and confidence of this young defense proves to progress and only grow stronger. Despite having no turnovers, the defense still did its job and nearly pitched a shutout on a much improved Wagner team.
Rutgers's Offense Continues to Make Weekly Strides
In the first half, Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt managed to throw for 106 yards and a touchdown while the running game of the Knights rushed for 107 yards. The balance to the offense forced the defense to be on their heels at all times. One of the advantages of having a balanced offense is that it opens up the playbook and allows other players opportunities to be utilized that wouldn’t be normally within the offense. That said, the Knights running back group did it together as each of them finished with a rushing touchdown by the time game ended.
“I think we did a good job offensively, however I think we did leave a lot on the table,” Schiano states. “Now, I tip my hat to Wagner they’re a much-improved football team. …We have to do a better job but we’re getting better so it’s step by step.”
“I think we did a good job offensively, however, I think we did leave a lot on the table,” @GregSchiano states. “Now, I tip my hat to Wagner they’re a much-improved football team. ... We have to do a better job but we’re getting better so it’s step by step.”@JSNSPORTINGNEWS pic.twitter.com/j0jShVPzPt
— John “Woods” Armwood III (@J_Armwood908) October 1, 2023
Moving forward, Schiano alludes to having a deep running back room and getting everyone prepared for the stretch of challenging conference games ahead. He admits it’s important these guys have experience and continue to gain reps because down the line they’ll be essential to assure the safety and longevity of Rutgers backs.
“All four running backs to score a touchdown today and Sam [Sammuel Brown V] has worked his way back,” Schiano explains in great detail. “When you’re injured and not practicing they can have a bad effect on your game day, for example ball security. … Sam and Aaron have been practicing more and more every week. That’s important going into this stretch because it’s a very physical stretch we’re set to face here”
What’s Next for the Scarlet Knights?
Rutgers is returning to play conference games for the remainder of the season. On October 7th, the Knights travel to Wisconsin to face the Badgers. This will be a highly anticipated test for the Knights as they’ve gained a ton of confidence with key victories outside of the conference. Viewers can view the contest on Peacock at noon.
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