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Can Rutgers football keep clean the rest of the way?

Limiting mistakes has been key to the 4-1 start for the Scarlet Knights.



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

Rutgers football is just two wins away from clinching bowl eligibility with seven games to play. Off to the program’s best start since 2014, the Scarlet Knights continue to improve.

“That we’re getting better. That they really, really want to get better, and they are learning how to do the things that winning teams do that nobody knows about, right. They are learning how to sleep correctly, get their rest. They are learning how to take care of themselves from a nutrition standpoint. It’s a long season, and I just got done telling them the rest of the way, it’s Big Ten all the way and what I believe to be the best conference in the country. It’s going to be quite a run and just as I’ve told you guys before, we’re 1-0 in the Wagner season. We’ll take a breath, celebrate it, and then we’re on to the Wisconsin season. So it’s the only way you can do it in my opinion.”

Playing clean football has been a key for this team through five games. Limiting mistakes has been a major improvement from last season.

Rutgers has just three turnovers this season, including just one interception from quarterback Gavin Wimsatt. The Scarlet Knights are No. 9 nationally in averaging just 34.0 penalty yards per game.For a team that struggled with turnovers and penalties last season, there has been major progress through the first five games. However, there is more to playing clean football that those two areas.

There have only been five drops in the pass game with no player having more than one. The defense is averaging just 5 missed tackles per game. The offensive line has only allowed two sacks for just nine yards, second best nationally.

Greg Schiano’s team is not making many mistakes. That’s been the key to everything. Of course, the competition will ramp up now with Big Ten competition every week. However, even at No. 2 Michigan, Rutgers didn’t stray too far from its season trends.

The continued progress of quarterback Gavin Wimsatt, the development of the offensive line, the defense’s ability to remain consistent as a top half unit in the Big Ten are all important factors for Rutgers. However, the bottom line is that if RU can continue to play relatively clean football, this team should have enough to win at least two more games and go bowling.

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The Scarlet Faithful is a comprehensive site dedicated to covering Rutgers Athletics owned and operated by co-founder Aaron Breitman. He has been a fan of Rutgers sports since the 1980’s, is a 2000 graduate of Rutgers College and has covered Rutgers athletics since 2015. Aaron is a credentialed media member for the athletic department and a voting member for Big Ten basketball. The Scarlet Faithful provides original content with articles, podcasts and video analysis on a daily basis.

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