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Rutgers Heads To Wisconsin

Rutgers RB Robert Martin -

Rutgers RB Robert Martin –

Tomorrow, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights will face off with the Wisconsin Badgers in their first trip ever to Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, WI. Rutgers (3-4, 1-3), looks to get the offense back on track against one of the best defenses in the country and one of the most hostile atmospheres in college football.

Wisconsin (6-2, 3-1) has held their opponents to 11.1 points to per game, second in the country to Michigan who Rutgers faces in Ann Arbor on Nov. 7.

“(They are) No. 8 in total defense in the country, No. 8 in rushing defense, fourth in redzone defense, second in the country in scoring defense,” head coach Kyle Flood of the Badgers stout unit during weekly radio show at Quaker Steak and Lube on Wednesday evening. “They do an excellent job. They’ve got a good scheme. Like anything else, first and foremost it’s about the players.”

So who are the three players Flood thinks are the oil that makes the engine run? Flood mentions their strongside linebacker Joe Schobert, weakside linebacker Vince Biegel, and their strong safety Mike Caputo as the three players that standout.

“Those three players are involved in almost every run play and they do a great job of funneling the defense to those three guys and those three guys do an excellent job in making the plays when they get the opportunities,” Flood said. “(The defense plays) a lot of man-coverage and load the box. They are determined to stop the run, so we’re going to have some 1-on-1 opportunities in the passing game.”

One guy who can break man coverage is star wide receiver Leonte Carroo, who is questionable with an ankle injury that saw him only play the first half last week in the loss against Ohio State. Flood said he thinks Carroo will be a game-time-decision against like a week ago. If he is limited or can’t go, Carlton Agudosi will once again have to step up, and quarterback Chris Laviano will have to spread it around to guys like Andre Patton, Janarion Grant, and tight ends, Matt Flanagan and Nick Arcidiacono.

However, the offense struggled last week against the Buckeyes and last year against the Badgers as they were shutout in Piscataway 37-0, so Rutgers knows it will be a tall task. Running backs Paul James, Josh Hicks, Robert Martin, and Justin Goodwin will have to carry the load early and make them stack the box to open up the passing game. Any one of those backs at any point of time can take over a game and be extremely productive. But, Wisconsin has given up only 77 yards on the ground per contest since their opening game against Alabama.

Couple other keys for the Scarlet Knights is whether their young secondary can get healthy. Safety Davon Jacobs is out again and redshirt freshman Kiy Hester will get the start. Isaiah Wharton looks to start once again at corner but the other corner spot will either be the questionable Blessuan Austin, who missed last week, or true freshman Jarius Adams. Freshman Ronnie James could see some playing time as well.

While Wisconsin has always been a tough, physical team with intimidating offensive line and power running backs, the Badgers have averaged 35 passes per game through their first eight games, the most in program history. Rutgers will have to keep their eye on quarterback Joel Stave, and wide receiver Alex Erickson, who has 52 receptions on the season.

It’ll also be interesting see whether Grant is neutralized on punt and kick returns like he has been the past few games.

Game: Rutgers at Wisconsin

12 noon ET kick on BTN




In a statement released by the school on Friday, “senior punter Joey Roth (Basking Ridge, N.J.) of the Rutgers football team is a national nominee for the 2015 Ray Guy Award, the Augusta Sports Council announced Friday. The Ray Guy Award identifies the nation’s top collegiate punter.


“Through seven games as the starting punter, Roth is averaging 40.6 yards on 31 attempts, including 11 fair catches forced and seven downed inside the 20-yard line. His long boot of the season thus far has been a 54-yard kick against Washington State. Roth is also serving his first season as the holder for the Scarlet Knights.


“The Ray Guy list will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists to be announced on Nov. 13. Following the semifinalists announcement, a national body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sports information directors, coaches, media representatives and previous Ray Guy Award winners will vote for the top three finalists, who will be identified on Nov. 23. The voting body will then cast ballots to select the winner. The presentation of the Ray Guy Award will be featured live on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards, Dec. 10.”

We recently highlighted Roth’s play here.


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