Rutgers dropped to 1-3 on the season after a 27-17 loss to Nebraska on Saturday, although there were several signs of improvement. In Rutgers’ past two losses to Nebraska since joining the Big Ten, the Scarlet Knights were defeated by a combined score of 73-38. And in those two games, Rutgers was not as close as those scores may have indicated.
On Saturday, Rutgers held a 17-14 lead in the third quarter, but the Husker offense found a rhythm and dominated the time of possession in the second half.
“I am really proud of the preparation and the focus and the effort they put out there today,” head coach Chris Ash said post game. “Bottom line is we just made too many mistakes to win a football game on the road. We struggled to stop the run, especially in the second half. We wore out in front. Anytime they can run the ball, and we can't run the ball that is when you can't win football games and that happened today.”
One of the offensive issues was Rutgers’ struggles on third down, as the offense went just 3-of-12 in those situations.
"It's tough, it's hard to win a football game when we have less than 200 yards in total offense, so, and that's not putting the blame on anybody,” said starting quarterback Kyle Bolin. “I'm not saying that it's my fault, I'm not saying it's the O-line's fault, I'm not saying it's the running backs' fault. Nebraska is a big physical defense and the schemes that they ran today were different than the schemes that we have been preparing for, because they haven't showed it at all this year. So they had a great game plan and we've just got to watch film and take notes and figure out what we need to do in terms of just to run the plays effectively and make sure that we convert on those situations.”
Bolin finished 15-of-29 on the day with 126 yards and two interceptions. The RU offense finished with just 194 total yards, 75 of which came on the opening drive, and that resulted in the team’s only offensive touchdown.
Rutgers also played without senior wide receiver Janarion Grant, who is expected back next weekend while the status of junior cornerback Blessuan Austin remains unknown. Austin went down in the second half with what looked like some kind of knee injury.
Ash will hold his weekly press conference today inside The Hale Center and Scarlet Nation will be on hand providing LIVE updates.
Next up for Rutgers is a 3-1 Ohio State team that is ranked No.11 in the latest AP Top 25 college football poll. The Buckeyes took down UNLV on Saturday 54-21 and kickoff this Saturday will be inside High Point Solutions Stadium at 7:30 p.m.