By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – No. 15 Rutgers (7-1, 4-0 Big East) suffered an upset at home to Kent State (7-1, 4-0 MAC). Here’s what we learned from the 35-23 loss:
1. The dream season is over.
So much for going undefeated. And so much for all the parallels to the 2006 team that started off 9-0. However, there is a silver lining. As bad as a loss to Kent State is, Rutgers can still run the table in the Big East and win that elusive conference title. It’s not like this team was going to the National Championship game even if they went undefeated. So not all is lost.
2.Rutgers offense is slow to start.
Ok, so we knew this going into the game considering they only had two offensive touchdowns in the first quarter through seven games. But this was against Kent State. And the offense still couldn’t get it going. A single field goal in 15 minutes against an inferior opponent like the Golden Flashes shouldn’t happen. And if there was no concern from Rutgers about the slow starts before, there sure is now.
3. Kyle Flood is sticking with Gary Nova no matter what.
Flood said he was going to pick his quarterback and ride with him after Greg Schiano had a quarterback carousel his last few years on the Banks. However, after throwing four interceptions in the first half (and six in the game), no one would have blamed Flood for pulling Nova for Chas Dodd. But Flood didn’t. He stuck with Nova, even when many would say he shouldn’t have.
4. The run defense can be exposed.
Rutgers was ranked No. 3 in the country against the run heading into the game. Well, they won’t be this week. Tayion Durham broke tackles after running through gaping holes for 131 yards and a touchdown, while dynamic playmaker Dri Archer had 79 yards and a touchdown.