The Monday Morning Kickoff

Bobby Deren, Editor
Scarlet Nation

Rutgers is five games into the season as a bye week awaits following a 56-0 loss to Ohio State on Saturday night. The loss came inside High Point Solutions Stadium to drop the Scarlet Knights to 1-4 on the season.

Among the notable game stories was the loss of safeties Saquan Hampton and Kiy Hester, who both went down with first half injuries. Starting cornerback Blessuan Austin is also out for the season with a torn ACL.

“We are down three starters in the secondary, and we were already thin in the secondary to begin with, and that killed us,” head coach Chris Ash said after the game. “Obviously, we gave up some really big pass plays in the first half that you just can't do against a good team, and that just got us in a hole. We can't overcome that. We're not good enough to do that. But we'll keep fighting, and we'll hopefully get a good report tomorrow that it won't be long-term with [Hester and Hampton].”

Ash faced off with his former head coach Urban Meyer, who has this to say about his former defensive coordinator.

“I love Chris. Chris is a friend. I think they are getting better. I think this is a great state to recruit in. I know they respect Chris. I see his feel on that defense. I think offense, they have a ways to go. Much respect, I think they have the right coach. It’s going to take time to build.”

In the stands was RU quarterback commit Jalen Chatman, who made his official visit from California this past weekend. He made the rounds with current commits and some uncommitted prospects as well.

"I got a chance to talk to (Khristopher) Banks. I talk to him a lot and I was just trying to get him on the team,” Chatman said. “I just tell kids like that we are going to turn this thing around. We have all the tools and everything to succeed in this system. Also, it’s a great school and a great football team.”

The team is now looking ahead to an off-weekend before a slate of seven straight Big Ten games.

“Mentally, we need a break, we really do,” said senior captain Darnell Davis. “But we have to keep it going. The season isn’t over.”

When Big Ten play resumes, Rutgers will travel to Illinois, who currently holds a 2-2 record after suffering a 28-6 loss to Nebraska on Saturday.

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