Rutgers vs. Penn State 11/11/17

Rutgers isn't back — but Chris Ash is leading his team closer

The loss to Penn State followed a similar script to Rutgers' loss to MI last month: Play a tight first half, make a few too many mistakes on individual plays and run out of gas in the second half against a more talented opponent.

The second half, like many second halves for Rutgers this season, was less than stellar, with the defense allowing 3 touchdowns and the offense only collecting 79 of its 200 total yards.

It has been said time and time again this season, but it bears repeating: this is not the same Rutgers football team from previous year.

Scarlet Knights kicker Justin Davidovicz hit the opening kickoff short and high, and when no one on Penn State's return team handled the ball, it was recovered by RU's Lawrence Stevens at the 21.

The start was not pretty but the finish was, as the Lions rolled to a 35-6 victory in front of a Homecoming crowd of 107,531 at Beaver Stadium.

He was decisive when the Nittany Lions needed him to be, too. Shareef Miller was banged up at one point, and when he went out, Rutgers was able to run at both sides effectively.

Penn State generated just one sack and four tackles for loss as Ryan Buchholz again sat out. The Penn State defense stood strong enough and stopped the Scarlet Knights at the eight-yard line and allowed only a field goal.

How can I listen to Penn State-Rutgers on the radio?

Rutgers' two wins came in 1918 and 1988. Tight end Jerome Washington's rush attempt was shut down by Jason Cabinda, who was in on Penn State's punt-safe defensive set. In 2014, Penn State won 13-10.

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It's why Saquon Barkley had -3 rushing yards in the first half. No touchdown this time, but he did add 33 receiving yards.

The Nittany Lions are 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten going into the game. McSorley's top receiver is DaeSean Hamilton with 36 catches for 606 yards and 6 touchdowns. On the ground, McSorley has 305 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns.

He's no longer showing the dominance that seemed like a given at the beginning of the season and Big Ten schedule, but going into this weekend, he still had the second-best odds to win the Heisman Trophy behind Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.

By that point, the snowball fight had been beaten out of Rutgers.

"I think everyone played really hard", quarterback Giovanni Rescigno said. Then on play-action, the Rutgers defense bit on Barkley and McSorley weaved through the Scarlet Knights for a 20-yard score, his ninth rushing touchdown on the season. He is 32-for-63 passing for 407 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.

In last week's 31-24 win against Maryland, Rutgers threw the ball 18 times but ran the ball 46 times.

Following two Penn State punts, Rutgers again drove down in Nittany Lion territory but faltered and was held to a field goal.

Head coach James Franklin should still be concerned about the lack of a run game.

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