In beating Northwestern, Rutgers football did something it didn’t do much last year: Finish off an opponent

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — It wasn’t always pretty, but for Rutgers football on Sunday, it was borderline dominant. A 24-7 win over Northwestern gets the Scarlet Knights off to a strong start this season, while in the process, setting an important tone for the entire team.

Behind an offense that didn’t turn the ball over as well as a defense that allowed just 201 yards of total offense, Rutgers never seemed in any danger of losing this game. In fact, Rutgers was borderline dominant at times in this one.

And given their struggles in 2022, this result was noticeably different than from a season ago.

Last year, there was the painful loss to Nebraska where Rutgers was up 13-0 at halftime. Three weeks later, Rutgers was up 17-14 over a top-10 Michigan team at half-time before giving up 38 points in the second half, while being shut out in the process.

“I think the focus, not letting the circumstance dictate their behavior. – just the focus of what we were going to do and how we were going to do it,” head coach Greg Schiano said after the game.

“We call it CHOP, but the ability to CHOP the moment throughout 60 minutes of football, that’s what our goal is. And if you can do that, whether you win or you lose, then you know did you your best.”

There was a bit of a killer instinct to Rutgers in this game as they didn’t allow Northwestern to score until the Wildcats’ final drive of the game.

The defense was strong, consistently getting in the pocket and forcing two Northwestern turnovers in the process. Rutgers imposed their will on this game, that much is clear.

“And that’s what our goal is, is we can’t control who is on the other side now, but we can control, do we stay in the moment and chop the moment,” Schiano said.

“And that’s, for the most part, I thought we did that today. I thought there was a little bit of maturity about our team today.”

The 201 yards of total offense was the lowest allowed by Rutgers since the program joined the Big Ten in 2014.

Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire