September 20: Preview and Prediction
Damaged by injury, suspension and general athletic department malfeasance, The Rutgers Scarlet Knights seem messy. Not even the post-game news conference is immune.
While the arrests and removals of several players and head coach Kyle Flood's three-game suspension might be cause for concern most weeks, this is no typical week. This week is Kansas week. Rutgers may have lost several players, but its depth will be more than enough to hold off a Jayhawk team with just a handful of legitimate FBS players on the roster.
Rutgers' biggest asset is speed. The team sacrificed size, especially on defense, to be faster than its Big 10 opponents. The Scarlet Knights are vulnerable to good power-running games, but Kansas is not one of those teams. Kansas has shown good running ability, but only when teams aren't stacking the box. A good Jayhawk passing attack is required to assist with the running game. Rutgers' top wide receiver Leonte Carroo will likely not play; he is suspended while an assault investigation is in progress. But if Carroo plays, Kansas stands no chance of defending him.
Last week, Rutgers lost to Penn State 24-3. Realistically the Jayhawks' only hope of securing the team's first road win in six years is for a flat, deflated R.U. to sleepwalk through this match. But as I implied, talent will overcome adversity.
Prediction: Rutgers 34, Kansas 13