The Rutgers football team will look to win its scarlet-out game against Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights (2-0, 1-0) will look to defeat their old Big East rivals and start their season 3-0 for a third straight year.
In anticipation of Saturday's afternoon game, The Daily Targum sports desk weighed in with its score predictions and overall thoughts on how the game will unfold.
Ellis Gordon, head sports editor: "This game is a must-win for Rutgers if it wants to make a bowl game this season. Luckily, the Scarlet Knights are facing off against a Virginia Tech team that has been weakened by a plethora of injuries. Rutgers also matches up well with the Hokies, as Virginia Tech's weakest position group is its offensive line. Whereas the Knights' strongest position group is their defensive line.
What was once supposed to be a close game will be a comfortable victory for Rutgers. The Knights will win a defensive battle by a score of 20-7 and hold the Hokies to under 20 rush yards in the game."
Josh Meyers, associate sports editor: "This will be Rutgers' toughest game of the season thus far, but it should be easier now that Virginia Tech is banged up. The defense will step up to the challenge once again and tally three sacks and an interception. Junior quarterback Gavin Wimsatt and senior wide receiver JaQuae Jackson will connect for a touchdown, and freshman running back Ja'shon Benjamin will score a rushing touchdown. The Scarlet Knights will win by a score of 23-17."
Matthew Mangam, correspondent: "Rutgers is currently riding a two-game win streak heading into this weekend's matchup. Virginia Tech is coming off a close loss to Purdue and will be without several key players this weekend. It will be a tougher contest for the Scarlet Knights, but they will win by a score of 27-13."
Camden Markel, correspondent: "Rutgers' run game will continue to look strong against Virginia Tech. Junior running back Kyle Monangai will rush for more than 100 yards yet again, Wimsatt will take care of the ball and sophomore placekicker Jai Patel will nail two field goals that are both more than 40 yards. The defense shuts down an injury-riddled Hokies team, and the Scarlet Knights head into Ann Arbor, Michigan, next weekend undefeated. Rutgers wins by a score of 27-9."
Alec Crouthamel, contributing writer: "Rutgers' defense clamps down again, allowing just 30 net rushing yards. Quarterback Grant Wells does not play for Virginia Tech, so quarterback Kyron Drones starts for the Hokies, and though he will provide a bit of a spark, he will ultimately make key mistakes to give the Scarlet Knights more offensive possessions.
Rutgers converts on more than 50 percent of its third downs and once again pulls away in the fourth quarter after being up 14-6 at the end of the third quarter. Wimsatt completes more than 50 percent of his passes for 190 yards, and Monangai and sophomore running back Samuel Brown V combine for more than 150 yards rushing and two touchdowns. The Knights will win by a score of 24-6."
Andrew Rice, contributing writer: "Rutgers is coming off a two-game win streak while Virginia Tech is coming off of a loss to Purdue. The Scarlet Knights will also have home-field advantage and are healthier than the Hokies. With that being said, Virginia Tech is still a great team with a dynamic offense. Rutgers' offense will need to use its running game to control the clock if it wants to win. Expect the Knights offense to play conservatively and come out with the close 24-21 victory."
Rutgers will face off against the Hokies (1-1, 0-0) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network, WFAN and 88.7 WRSU-FM.
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