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Rutgers loses in Pittsburgh

Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights lost to the Pittsburgh Panthers yesterday by a score of 27-6. Despite the loss, Rutgers earned a share of the Big East Championship as Louisville lost to Connecticut in overtime. Rutgers and Louisville will play each other for a BCS Bowl on Thursday night at High Point Solutions Stadium.

There were many different reasons why Rutgers lost this game and we’ll touch on three of them. The first is coaching. Far too many times this season the offense has come out and played way too conservatively. They had great field position the entire first quarter and did nothing with it. How many times can you run it up the middle for no gain and start at second and third downs with long distances to go? This team supposedly has great offensive weapons, why not use them? They’ve only scored 23 points in the first quarter this season.

Could the conservative play calling have something to do with their level of trust with sophomore quarterback Gary Nova? Nova continues to be prone to interceptions and is not very accurate with the ball. He is only completing 59.7% of his passes this season and only had a completion percentage of 51.1 last season. You will see him overthrowing receivers every game which is hard to do when you have a bunch of receivers that stand 6-foot-3 and up. Outside of the Arkansas game, how many games can you say he played well?

The punting situation has been atrocious all season long. I’m not sure what happened to Justin Doerner but he flat out is not getting the job done. He hardly ever kicks a ball more than 35 yards and has been killing this team in field position. There’s only so much you can ask of the defense and the punter has been hurting them for too long. How they don’t have anyone else to replace him is a travesty.
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