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Penn State Runs Passed Rutgers 28-3

Rutgers offense in the huddle versus Penn State Sept. 19 / Photo: Catalina Fragoso, Double G Sports

Rutgers offense in the huddle versus Penn State Sept. 19 / Photo: Catalina Fragoso, Double G Sports

A win at Penn State would have healed some wounds from all the negativity surrounding the program, but Rutgers didn’t have a chance.

In front of 103,323 at Beaver Stadium, Penn State’s (2-1, 1-0) offensive line opened lanes trucks could drive through as the Nittany Lions racked up 330 rushing yards. The same offensive line gave up 10 sacks against Temple two weeks ago, but didn’t give up a sack last night. Rutgers (1-2, 0-1) was constantly beat at the point of attack and looked lost at times having to rush to get set. Interim head coach Norries Wilson was asked what went wrong after the defense repetitively kept getting gashed up the middle.

“I can’t give you a qualified answer to that because I was not with the defense all week,” Wilson said post game. “I was on the headset with (defensive coordinator Joe) Rossi and (linebackers coach Bob) Fraser. They talked about the adjustments that needed to be made and where we were deficient on the runs. That was big. They did a good job of adjusting to them in the second half and a couple got out against us after the adjustment was made. We’ve got to play better, in all three phases.”

Penn State freshman running back Saquon Barkley breaking tackles against Rutgers / Photo: Catalina Fragoso, Double G Sports

Penn State freshman running back Saquon Barkley breaking tackles against Rutgers / Photo: Catalina Fragoso, Double G Sports

Once a Rutgers commit, true freshman running back Saquon Barkley showed off his talents rushing 21 times for 195 yards and two touchdowns to help Penn State throttle Rutgers 28-3. His running mate, redshirt junior Akeel Lynch, had 120 yards on the ground on 10 carries and a score.

The second quarter proved the difference maker in the game after Penn State put up three touchdowns to go into halftime with a 21-0 lead thanks to a touchdown run each by Barkley and Lynch, and a jet sweep run by redshirt freshman wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins.

“The last touchdown they got, it was solely on me,” Wilson said when asked about the quarter. “I didn’t catch a deficiency we had when they had the 80-yard run (actually 75-yards by Lynch). That changed the complexity somewhat more than it already had. They drove the ball on us a couple of times to get those first two touch downs that they got in the second quarter.

“We couldn’t put anything together consistently to keep a drive going outside of the one that we had in the first quarter. Our lack of consistency, and leaving the defense out there…we just had to stop so many plays that it rode against us at some point.”

The 330 rushing yards is a 415.625 percent increase of yardage compared to only having 64 yards on the ground a year ago at High Point Solutions Stadium. Rutgers only had 43 yards on the ground led by sophomore running back Josh Hicks.

“I’ll say it was just the will, you know,” redshirt senior stalwart left tackle Keith Lumpkin said. “The just played good. They did a good job of getting off blocks and they just seemed like they wanted it more than us.”

Rutgers was plagued by poor starting field position all game where their first 12 starting field positions, only one began beyond the 25 yard line. Electric returner Janarion Grant was neutralized on both punt and kick returns. Grant was only able to return one punt for negative one yard and one kickoff for eight yards. Most of the kickoffs went through the end zone and he was forced to fair-catch punts.

Rutgers QB Chris Laviano being chased down by Penn State defenders / Photo: Catalina Fragoso, Double G Sports

Rutgers QB Chris Laviano being chased down by Penn State defenders / Photo: Catalina Fragoso, Double G Sports

Coaches stress the importance of winning the turnover battle, but Rutgers again fumbled once, and quarterback Chris Laviano threw two interceptions with fans wanting Hayden Rettig to get a shot.

One bright spot for the Scarlet Knights was Carlton Agudosi, who started in place of Leonte Carroo, who is suspended indefinitely. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound redshirt junior hauled in six passes for 80 yards (although he had the lone fumble after he skied high for a ball and got hit which jarred the ball loose). Agudosi had a breakout spring and summer, but didn’t play a snap last week.

Senior kicker Kyle Federico nailed his only field goal attempt from 34-yards out to score the only points on the day for the Scarlet Knights.

Next Saturday, Kansas comes to Rutgers for a 12 p.m. kick.

You can watch interim head coach Norries Wilson’s post game press conference below:

httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PZSi557S4s

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