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The Rutgers Scarlet Knights came into Week 12 needing one more victory to become bowl eligible with only two games left to play. First up, was a matchup against Penn State. Although their record might not match what their expectations were, the Nittany Lions still had one of the best defenses in the Big Ten.
For Rutgers, this was going to be an uphill battle from the jump. With head coach Greg Schiano’s ties to Penn State back in the early to mid 90’s and them sharing recruiting grounds, this game meant a little more to everyone involved. Tipico sportsbook had Penn State favored by 17.5 points coming in.
Rutgers dropped their week 12 contest in State College, getting shutout 28-0. Although it is difficult to learn things about the team in a shutout loss, every coach and player will tell you there is always something positive you can take from every game in the college football season.
Although this was not as wide of a margin as their loss to No. 20 Wisconsin, it is the first time that Rutgers has been shut out this season. Let’s take a look at the top performers for Rutgers from each phase from week 12.
Offense - WR Bo Melton
STATE COLLEGE, PA – NOVEMBER 20: Bo Melton #18 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights catches a pass as Keaton Ellis #2 of the Penn State Nittany Lions defends during the second half at Beaver Stadium on November 20, 2021 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
The offense was extremely limited against the Nittany Lions. Penn State has the best scoring defense in the Big Ten, so this is no surprise. Rutgers finished the game with only 160 total yards, so picking an MVP was going to be tough.
There was only one person that seemed to have a good game on the offensive end – Bo Melton. Melton had three receptions for a total of 47 yards. Only one other Scarlet Knight had more than one reception, and that was Isaih Pacheco with four receptions for -6 yards.
Melton did have one rush for negative five yards, but the leading rusher had 18 rush yards, so we do not hold his one negative rush against him. Melton finished the game with more than half of the team’s total passing yards.
Defense - LB Tyshon Fogg
Nov 20, 2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Noah Cain (21) runs with the ball as Rutgers Scarlet Knights linebacker Tyshon Fogg (8) attempts a tackle during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
This was a tougher call due to how many nominees there were. Despite the final score, Penn State struggled to move the ball in this first half as they only led 7-0 to that point. The Nittany Lions managed just 120 yards of total offense in the first two quarters and it wasn’t till their last possession of the half that they scored.
The defense finished with two players with double-digit tackles, and there were six total tackles for loss. Add in a few passes defended and quarterback hurries, and the Scarlet Knights had a few men in the running, but Tyshon Fogg stood out above the rest.
Fog finished the game with 12 tackles, four of which were solo. Drew Singleton also had 12 tackles in the game. The difference was Fogg recorded the only sack for the Scarlet Knights, adding in another tackle for loss.
Special Teams - P Adam Korsak
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 20, 2021
Adam Korsak might as well be an automatic recipient each and every week. Korsak might be a Ray Guy Award finalist, but he is the best punter in college football already.
His streak of punts without a touchback has reached 118. He punted the ball 10 times, with four settling inside the 20. He averaged 44.4 yards per punt. Awesome.