Rutgers produced a good first act in the 2023 season in Sunday’s 24-7 win over Northwestern. They looked improved in several areas and were strong in spots they were expected to be.
This team was prepared and played complementary football the way that head coach Greg Schiano has preached for since his return. Rutgers dominated Northwestern in a way that never let them in the game. It was the sign of a mature team with a strong culture.
“I just saw how our team worked and how our leadership led during training camp,” Schiano said following the win. “We had a really tough training camp; those of you that covered it know that. But the leadership of our team ran the team, and that’s why they were able to go out and play. Like I said, I thought Gavin played a clean game; I thought our team played a clean game, and that’s attributable to those leaders.”
He added, “Overall, I think it was really important, all three phases, played focused football, and that’s what we need it do. That’s what we can control.”
For Rutgers to take the next step this season in order to win six games or more, they need to continue to make progress in several areas. They need be good in these areas to develop a winning personality as a team.
On Sunday, the Scarlet Knights only committed two penalties and the offense didn’t have a turnover. There was a special teams turnover that cost the defense the shutout. Limiting mistakes is obviously a major key.
The defense was very disruptive and needs to continue to be so in order to become a top half Big Ten unit. The improved depth should breed hope this can happen.
Sustaining drives is in part tied to the aggressive mentality in which offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca called the first half. It led to the offense and Wimsatt in particular, playing with confidence.
Rutgers must improve its efficiency in the run game as they averaged just 2.8 yards per carry. They were able to convert many third/fourth and short opportunities. The offensive line needs to improve with run blocking and hopefully the full complement of running backs are available soon.
And while the specialists mostly had very good performances, Rutgers needs special teams play to be a plus for them this season.
Tuesday’s episode focuses on five personality traits that Rutgers football needs excel with or improve on in order to have a successful season.
Listen and watch below.
Thanks for reading the The Scarlet Faithful. For more Rutgers Athletics content from The Scarlet Faithful, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. You can subscribe to The Scarlet Faithful podcast on Apple, Spotify, Pocket Casts and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. For advertising inquiries or to reach out directly, email at email@example.com