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Three takeaways from Rutgers football's blowout loss against Penn State

Senior wide receiver Shameen Jones and the Rutgers football team saw their Bowl hopes slip away in yesterday's loss to Penn State. – Photo by Hamza Azeem

The Rutgers football team was defeated by Penn State in a 55-10 blowout. The Scarlet Knights (4-7, 1-7) mustered 10 points on offense in the first quarter and were held scoreless for the rest of the matchup. Here are three takeaways from yesterday's game.

Missed opportunities and key turnovers

After a Rutgers field goal by junior placekicker Jude McAtamney, running back Nicholas Singleton took a 100-yard kickoff return to the house and the No. 11 Nittany Lions (9-2, 6-2) took a 7-3 lead. Singleton was untouched and found wide-open lanes for the score.

The Knights were able to get the lead back on a touchdown catch by senior wide receiver Shameen Jones to make the score 10-7 in favor of Rutgers.

A key mistake gave momentum to Penn State. Senior tight end Johnny Langan fumbled the football after a short yardage catch which was scooped up and taken into the endzone by Nittany Lions linebacker Kobe King.

Down 14-10, the Knights defense, which forced four consecutive Penn State punts, recovered a fumble at the Nittany Lions' 24-yard line and had a prime opportunity to score, but McAtamney missed a 41-yard field goal. 

This missed opportunity shifted the tide in favor of Penn State. The montage of mistakes from Rutgers kept piling on as the Nittany Lions scored 48 unanswered points. 

In his post-game press conference, Schiano spoke about the team having no margin for error, especially against a talented Big Ten team in Penn State. 

"When you make mistakes against a team of that quality, it does avalanche on you, for sure," Schiano said. "When you make them against teams that aren't quite that level, it kind of just gives the game a bad feel, but it's not like that. We have to figure out ... what we do to continue to get better. That will take care of that eventually when you have more guys that are getting better."

Same quarterback mistakes

Sophomore quarterback Gavin Wimsatt completed 10 of 29 pass attempts for a total of 122 yards. He also threw an interception and fumbled once. 

Wimsatt underthrew senior wide receiver Sean Ryan on a deep pass back in Knights territory that was picked off. Moments later, the Nittany Lions scored and took a 28-10 lead.

On a collapsing packet, Wimsatt got stripped, and the fumble was taken back 70 yards for another Penn State defensive touchdown that extended the team's lead to 35-10.

Throughout the game, Wimsatt made errant passes that missed wide-open receivers, which resulted in lost drives and punts.

"Gavin was a little sped up tonight," Schiano said. "He wasn't as process-driven as he was a week ago. Now, some of that has to do with the defense. Some of it has to do with the run game a week ago ... But still, we didn't do a good enough job getting him ready because when he sped up, he wasn't as good as he can be."

This season, Wimsatt has completed 60 of his 132 passing attempts.

Senior Day was packed with blue and white

Yesterday night’s game set a Rutgers single-game attendance record of 55,675 as well as the season average attendance record.

Unfortunately, it seemed like the majority of the stadium was filled with blue and white which are the primary colors of the Nittany Lions.

The sections opposite of the student section, where most of the Penn State fans were, erupted when Singleton took back the 100-yard kick return for a touchdown. 

The Knights will head to College Park, Maryland, for their final game of the season when they face off against Maryland next Saturday.

For more updates on the Rutgers football team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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