Rutgers football opened up some eyes last week with their tough loss to No. 1 Ohio State. For putting Ohio State on the ropes for much of the game, Greg Schiano’s program earned praise from the crew at the Big Ten Network.
It is well-rehearsed by now: Rutgers held a halftime lead and was down 21-16 early in the fourth quarter of what would become a 36-16 win over Ohio State. But in pushing Ohio State, there was a lot to be said about the trajectory of Rutgers and the rebuild under Schiano.
Rutgers is now 6-3 (3-3 Big Ten) and bowl eligible. They are No. 44 in the nation in the latest ESPN FPI update.
This week, the Big Ten Network broke down Ohio State’s win over Rutgers. While focusing primarily on Ohio State (and rightly so), the crew did a nice job of discussing Rutgers and the job done with Schiano so far this season.
“I think when you think about how he is building this team and coaching this team – because we were all like ‘OK, you have to get to six,’ right?” BTN’s Howard Griffith said.
“But I’m sure, yes that’s important but still that’s not the destination, that’s not it. We got to keep building more and more. And they keep getting better every week.”
Griffith is a former fullback at Illinois who spent 11 seasons in the NFL.
The one sticking point about Rutgers came from studio host Dave Revsine, who talked about the need for quarterback Gavin Wimsatt to continue his development. In particular, Revsine noted that the need for Wimsatt to improve his accuracy have popped up for Wimsatt this season.
Wimsatt is completing 49 percent of his passes on the season, the lowest for any starting quarterback in the Big Ten. It is an improvement and a substantial one at that as he had a 44.8 completion percentage in 2022.
The recently turned 20-year old is reading the field better, but moments like Saturday’s pick-six are a reminder of his need to continue to progress in his ball placement and accuracy.
In his last four games, Wimsatt hasn’t cracked a completion percentage of 50 percent, something Revsine said needs to improve.
“I think as they continue to elevate, that’s a part of his game that is going to naturally improve or something else is going to happen or somebody is going to pass him. He doesn’t want that to happen they truly believe in what he can do,” Griffith said.
“It’s about really this offseason and really this season, just continuing to get better. But they know what to expect out of him. And that’s the coaching brilliance in this whole thing, they know what they’re going to get out of him.”
Rutgers is being projected to play in the Pinstripe Bowl according to USA TODAY’s Erick Smith.