The Rutgers football team was defeated by Penn State 27-6 on Saturday at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania.
The Scarlet Knights (6-5, 3-6) could not find the end zone once again, as they dropped their third straight game. Here are three takeaways from the road loss.
Flurry of mistakes leads to defeat
After the first quarter, Rutgers led the Nittany Lions (9-2, 6-2) 3-0 after the defense forced a three-and-out to start the game and the offense had an efficient drive right after. Sophomore placekicker Jai Patel hit a field goal after a holding call forced the Knights back.
At the start of the second quarter, No. 11 Penn State scored its first touchdown of the game against Rutgers. On the following drive, the Knights made their first error. A botched handoff between junior quarterback Gavin Wimsatt and junior running back Kyle Monangai led to a fumble recovery for the Nittany Lions that set them up for a field goal to extend their lead to 10-3.
Rutgers' offense was able to move down the field once again and was inside the Penn State 10-yard line looking to tie the game up at the end of the second quarter. A holding penalty, though, moved the offense back 10 yards. Two incomplete passes forced head coach Greg Schiano to settle for 3 points in the red zone again, as the Nittany Lions took a 10-6 lead into the second half.
The Knights came into the third quarter flat on offense. Rutgers was forced to punt on its first two possessions of the third quarter and on the Knights' third possession of the second half, the offensive line missed a pass rusher, which led Wimsatt to get hit and fumble the ball. Penn State recovered and hit a field goal to take the 13-6 lead.
A fourth-quarter pick from Wimsatt was the straw that broke the camel's back, as the Nittany Lions scored another touchdown and took the 21-point victory.
"The game, in a nutshell, was three turnovers and missed red zone opportunities," Schiano said. "If you get there, you gotta score, and it's hard to win by 3's."
Run game helps Penn State as Rutgers' rush is contained
It was a strong defensive showing paired with a heavy rush attack that propelled Penn State. All three of the Nittany Lions' touchdowns came on the ground, as they rushed for 234 yards and averaged 6 yards per carry.
On the other side, Rutgers was held to just 99 yards and averaged 2.4 gains per carry. Monangai ran 16 times for just 39 yards, while Wimsatt averaged 1.8 yards on the ground.
Three-game losing streak
In those three games, Rutgers' offense has totaled just 22 points, with 6 of those points coming from this match.
"Everything is relative to who you're playing," Schiano said. "You're talking about three of the best defenses, the top five defenses, in America. So you're going to have to be really, really precise and physically ready to go to score, and we're just missing by a little bit."
The Knights will look to end the regular season on a high note when they head back home to face off against Maryland on Saturday.
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