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Blackout The Birthplace

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Donning new helmets, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights square off against the Michigan State Spartans Saturday night at 8 p.m.

Rutgers (2-2, 0-1) has had success with a juiced up crowd winning four of their six “blackout” games. They won their two most recent against brand-name foes in Arkansas in 2013 and Michigan last season for their first ever Big Ten Conference victory.

Michigan State is No. 4 in the AP Poll, and comes to High Point Solutions Stadium with an unblemished 5-0 record, so the task won’t be easy. The Spartans possess a senior quarterback who very well could go No. 1 overall in next year’s NFL Draft in Connor Cook. Their defense, in which DoubleGSports talked about here, is led by senior defensive end Shilique Calhoun, who is from New Jersey.

The Scarlet Knights, however, return their best offensive weapon in senior wide receiver Leonte Carroo, who was reinstated back to the team this week after being suspended indefinitely. Carroo allegedly slammed a women to the ground after their home loss against Washington State on Sept. 12, but the woman, lifted a temporary restraining order and dismissed all charges against the captain.

Maybe the return of Carroo gives redshirt sophomore quarterback Chris Laviano the confidence to throw downfield and stretch the defense. Maybe offensive coordinator Ben McDaniels opens up the playbook more. Maybe the offensive line has their best game and the running back trio of sophomores Josh Hicks and Robert Martin, and redshirt senior Paul James find running lanes. Maybe junior speedster wide out Janarion Grant gets the ball in creative ways and takes on to the house on the special teams.

On the defensive side, maybe redshirt sophomore defensive end Kemoko Turay is finally healthy and dominates the offensive tackles and sacks Cook a couple times. Maybe the young secondary watched a lot of film and worked on their technique over the bye week and shuts down the Spartan receivers.

There are two ways to find out: You come and be loud at the stadium, or you can watch on Big Ten Network.

Wear Black


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