While the Rutgers Scarlet Knights may not be playing in a bowl game this year, they had a few impressive games this season. In this Top 5 Rutgers Games series, I explain why each matchup is ranked where I believe it should be. The game that deserves to be ranked third is the matchup that was week one against Boston College. Rutgers won this game on the road 22-21. With it being the first game of a season with great uncertainty, and on the road, the week one matchup deserves to be in the Top 5 Rutgers games of the season.
Top 5 Rutgers Games: Offense
This was the first game of the season and the first game where the Scarlet Knights had to rotate their quarterbacks. The two players who split the reps were Evan Simon and Gavin Wimsatt, both sophomores. While neither threw any touchdowns, this game ultimately came down to the entire team stepping up, and they surprisingly did. Simon got more snaps than Wimsatt in the game, but neither got a lot. This was a game that stemmed some quarterback controversy, a reason this is one of the top 5 Rutgers games.
According to ESPN, Simon completed eight passes out of 13 attempts for 63 yards. As for Wimsatt, he completed five passes out of just nine for 47 yards. It was clear the passing game was not going to be great, but the Scarlet Knights’ run game held its own. The total offense had 212 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The three to score were Kyle Monangai, Al-Shadee Salaam, and Aron Cruickshank. Monangai was the leading rusher at 19 carries for 64 yards.
While the passing game was not great, the success showed the team could overcome adversities and get wins. There were high hopes for this rushing offense due to this matchup, making this one of the top 5 Rutgers games of the 2022 season.
Top 5 Rutgers Games: Defense
The Scarlet Knights’ defense did well this season despite poor losses. In this game, the defense came through when they were needed. In this game, the team had a total of 55 combined tackles and four sacks. The defense also had eight tackles for loss, according to ESPN. The team did force two interceptions, one by Robert Longerbeam and one by Christian Braswell.
By the end of the third quarter, the score was 21-15 with Boston College in the lead. While the offense was able to score seven points for the win in the fourth quarter, the defense forced Boston College to be scoreless in the fourth quarter. One of the interceptions did come in the fourth quarter, according to ESPN, making it that much more important. This was absolutely crucial, setting up the rest of the season and making this game among the top 5 Rutgers games this season.
Top 5 Rutgers Games: Why Top 5
Opening up the season with a win is more important than some may think. It brings the team, fans, and coaching staff hopes for the season. It may have not been a perfect win, but it gave the team confidence to move on knowing they can win. This was not even a home game for the Scarlet Knights, yet they were able to come out with a 1-0 record.
The offense was able to discover that they would need to rely on the run this season, and they did. While their passing game may have not been great, it helped them understand their strengths and weaknesses ahead of a tough season. As for the defense, they made stops when they needed to. They also opened up the season with two interceptions. The matchup against Boston College was a game that many expected them to lose, then they pushed passed the doubt and came out with a win.
While this was a strong win, the game still ranks at number three on the Top 5 Rutgers games of the 2022 season. Come back next week to see which Scarlet Knights game will rank as the second-best game of the season. For my past two articles, see below.
Top 5 Rutgers Games: Four
Top 5 Rutgers Games: Five
For more NFL and College Football content:
Check out my most article on Rutgers Signing Day. Also, be sure to check out this article explaining Michael Dixon’s transfer to Rutgers. Read here for Penn State’s top players who have already declared for the NFL Draft.
Be sure to check out this week’s, Underestimated Player Spotlight to see who I chose. Also, check out my most recent article on the 49ers here, and this article on the 49ers here. Read here for if it is time for running back Jordan Mason to get more playing time.
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