By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – No. 19 Rutgers defeated Syracuse 23-15 to improve to 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in the Big East. Here’s what we learned from the game:
1. Rutgers is bowl eligible.
Well this is obvious, but worth noting anyway. With six wins, Rutgers becomes bowl eligible for the second straight season and seventh time in eight years. However, if you ask anyone in Rutgers locker room, it doesn’t mean much. Sure, a bowl game is all well and good, but they want it to be in South Beach and filled with oranges. Six wins doesn’t amount to a Big East Championship.
2. Rutgers can sack the quarterback.
They’d gotten hits on the quarterback, but prior to the game, Rutgers only had nine sacks through five games. Defensive tackle Scott Vallone vowed that the sacks would come soon enough. Well, he was right. Rutgers sacked Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib three times. While that may not seem like much, it is when you’re only recording less than two sacks a game.
3. Rutgers cleaned up the penalties.
Finally. The yellow hankie had plagued them all year. Rutgers was in the top five for penalties heading into the game with 51 penalties through five games. They only had four called on them today.
4. Rutgers can survive without Kyle Federico.
Ok, so it was only extra points — two makes and one miss — and a 25-yard field goal. But considering Nick Borgese had never kicked in a college game before, it was a cause for concern heading into the game. Fortunately for the Scarlet Knights, Federico’s (lower leg) absence didn’t cost them.