PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Last Saturday, Rutgers football showed flashes of potential on offense for the first time in…well…a long time.
In Saturday’s loss at Michigan State, Rutgers had 460 yards of total offense and produced 25 first downs. It was more total offense and more first downs than the Scarlet Knights had produced in their last two games combined.
And perhaps most impressive about the performance was that the offense didn’t have any turnovers.
Give credit to interim offensive coordinator Nunzio Campanile, who has simplified the playbook, eliminated the gimmick plays and solidified the playcalling. There is a rhyme and reason to the Rutgers offense under Campanile, and Saturday’s performance underscored the need for just that.
“I’d say that it’s definitely made some changes since coach Nunz took over for sure,” running back Kyle Monangai said this week.
“Put guys in different places, maybe talked about things differently, Taught things differently. And I think it just made everything work in a way that we’re all clicking together and everybody’s on the same page. And we’ve made a lot of strides as you know as we cumulate reps as the season goes on. More reps, more practicing things. More you practice, the better you get at it.”
What has been impressive is the fact Gavin Wimsatt showed some consistency in the pocket last weekend. He was 20-of-34 for 236 yards with two touchdowns.
Wimsatt ran the offense well and efficiently, backed up by a strong ground game that provided some much-needed balance.
“Nunz is a seasoned coach. He’s a leader. He’s been a very successful head coach. So like, being in charge of a group of men is nothing new to him. So he stepped right in and it’s kind of like riding a bike. He went right at it,” Schiano said on Wednesday.
“It’s been a tough position he’s putting put in, but he’s doing a really good job. He’s working incredibly hard. So I’m grateful for that.”