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Rapid Reaction to Rutgers’ 24-7 win over Northwestern



Sep 3, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Gavin Wimsatt (2) throws the ball as Northwestern Wildcats defensive lineman Jaylen Pate (41) defends during the first half at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers football began the 2023 season with a dominant 24-7 victory over Northwestern on Sunday at SHI Stadium. With the national spotlight shining bright as the only college football game being played, RU came through with a very good performance to improve to 1-0 overall and in Big Ten play.

Gavin Wimsatt played well in his season debut and first game under new offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca. The play calling was catered to his strengths, built confidence and was a good mix of pass and run. Wimsatt limited mistakes and delivered an encouraging performance overall.

The Rutgers defense played very well and held Northwestern to just 201 total yards in the game. Quarterback Ben Bryant was uncomfortable and under pressure quite a bit. He threw two interceptions and never established rhythm in the season opener. As a whole, the defense produced 5 sacks and eight tackles for loss (-48 yards).

Overall, it was an encouraging performance from Rutgers on Sunday. They took care of business and dominated Northwestern the entire game. It was a matchup that in years past could have marked trouble for RU. However, they came out prepared and ready to play. Rutgers never allowed Northwestern to get into the game. That fact alone was impressive on its own and showed real progress.

It’s the fourth straight season that Rutgers won it’s first game against a power five opponent.

Head coach Greg Schiano has preached the need for complementary football and that’s what his team produced in the season opener. The offense was solid, the defense was excellent and special teams was competent. A great first step for a program hoping to go bowling in 2023.

You can listen and watch below for my rapid reaction recorded just minutes following the season opening 24-7 victory for Rutgers.




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  1. pj43

    September 3, 2023 at 4:50 pm

    I know it’s early and Northwestern showed the effects of its internal turmoil, but I think I saw some promising signs today…
    Ciarrocca will have consistently good offensive game plans(check)
    The OL will be developed/improved under Flaherty(check)
    The kicking game will be solid(check)
    The defense is top half of Big Ten good(check)
    Young talent (e.g. Strong) may well be the “X”factor(check)
    Wimsatt shows early signs of being an “efficient”, legit QB (check)
    Schiano & his coaching staff are poised & able to take the program to the next level (check)

    The Temple game will provide another great opportunity for the team to build on its improvement, leading to a more realistic challenge in VA Tech. Aaron made a great point about the “culture” of the program being evident today. It can’t hurt that the recruits (both committed & uncommitted) who attended this game had to notice it & be impressed by it.

  2. Biochemist01

    September 3, 2023 at 4:54 pm

    Good summary Aaron.

  3. thevinman

    September 3, 2023 at 7:01 pm

    Schiano’s post-game conference.

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