After the Labor Day debacle against Cincinnati, Rutgers needed to come out early Saturday and erase the memory of that dreadful and embarrassing loss. Enter Howard, a Division 1-AA opponent. To Rutgers fans however, they are known as “The Remedy.”
The most important thing to come out of Saturday’s rout of “The Remedy” was not necessarily erasing the memory of that Cincy loss, but erasing the goose egg in the win column. Rutgers proved they are still indeed a dangerous team in the Big East, but not because they played so well against an inferior team. No, they are still a Big East championship contender because they didn’t play well against a weaker squad.
Yes. You read that sentence correctly. Look, their next league game is against Pittsburgh, who will likely be a ranked opponent when they visit Piscataway in October. Before they play the Panthers, they host Florida International, head to Maryland, and come back home for a tilt against Texas Southern. In other words, two more “gimme” wins and a tough road test in a non-Big East game. They have three more games before conference play starts up again. Three games that all present something different. FIU is another game that freshman can gain valuable experience. Maryland is the one that will test the team in a tough ACC facility. Texas Southern is the one to end by halftime and rest your starters for the upcoming game against Pitt.
The same thing that makes me believe this team is still a BCS contender is what is so alarming about them. Make no mistake about it; the Scarlet Knights were embarrassed on national television by Cincinnati opening day. You would expect this team to come out with fire no matter who they were playing. Yes they won 45-7, but they didn’t look crisp in doing so. This is a Howard team that went 1-10 a year ago in, for all intents and purposes, NCAA’s minor league of football. Let’s not forget, they scored merely three points in the second half. Three!
Any way you slice it, Rutgers is only one game out of first place in the conference two games into the season. I’m a Mets fan. I’ve seen worse collapses then losing a one game lead with eight to play. With plenty of time to bounce back, I’m certainly not concerned with this team yet. Lucky for them, their scheduling genius booked them for three games against the same team: “The Remedies.”