Breaking it down: Rutgers to welcome struggling Kansas
Who: Kansas vs. Rutgers
When: Saturday, 12 p.m. ET
Where: High Point Solutions Stadium
TV: Big Ten Network
Spread: Rutgers -12.5
Matchup to watch: Ben Goodman vs. Chris Laviano
There aren’t a whole lot of headliners on the Jayhawk defense, but one that Rutgers will have to watch out for is Goodman. The senior defensive end has 3.5 sacks in two games this season and Laviano isn’t exactly the world’s most mobile quarterback. He could spent time getting flushed out of the pocket if Goodman is able to generate a pass rush. There’s even a chance we’ll see Hayden Rettig in this one after the Rutgers coaching staff opened up that possibility earlier on Monday. Whoever is taking snaps will have to be mindful of the experienced end.
Thing I’m excited for: Norries Wilson’s postgame presser
Man, what a bizarre team this is. As if things couldn’t get any weirder for Rutgers, interim coach Norries Wilson conducted one of the odder postgame press conferences you’ll ever see. He asked for everybody’s name and affiliation and called on them like he was running a third grade history class. Obviously Wilson isn’t used to conducting a postgame press conference. He did follow press conference protocol better on Monday, and said that he wasn’t familiar with the process. Here’s hoping we see a return to Wilson’s opener.
Number to remember: 557
That’s how many yards Kansas has allowed per game this season. That ranks last of all Power Five schools and is 123rd among 127 FBS schools. Who did those defensive performances come against? They were home games against South Dakota State and Memphis. Yikes. That’s my way of saying, if Rutgers can’t rush and throw for at least 200 yards apiece, the B1G isn’t going to be very kind. Leonte Carroo or not, the Rutgers offense shouldn’t have problems putting up points against the Jayhawks.
Prediction: Rutgers 42, Kansas 28
What a welcome sight for Rutgers. A team that’s dealing with more off-field problems than anyone in the country gets a home game against the worst Power Five program there is. I’ll predict 200 yards rushing from Josh Hicks alone and Janarion Grant scores two all-purpose touchdowns. Wilson gets his first win as coach and Rutgers is able to get some needed positive morale.