Blue White Illustrated

Rutgers Pregame

Penn State Sports Magazine

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P R E G A M E R E P O R T R U T G E R S @ P E N N S T A T E T I M E N O O N , N O V . 1 1 | T V B T N RUTGERS FACTS COACH Chris Ash (Drake, '96) COACH'S RECORD 6-15, 3-12 Big Ten, in two seasons at Rutgers; career record: same 2017 RECORD 4-5, 3-3 Big Ten RECORD VS. PSU Penn State leads the series, 25-2. MOST RECENT MEETING Penn State shut out the host Scarlet Knights, 39-0, behind a career- high four field goals from Tyler Davis on Nov. 19, 2016. GOOD NEWS Rutgers has already topped its touchdown total from last year. The Scarlet Knights reached the end zone only 23 times in 12 games last season, but they've scored 27 touchdowns through the first nine games of the 2017 season. The Knights have also im- proved dramatically on last year's disastrous scoring differential of minus-21.8 points per game. This year's differential: minus-2.3 points. BAD NEWS The Scarlet Knights haven't beaten a ranked opponent in eight years. Their most recent vic- tory over a ranked foe was in No- vember 2009 when they shut out No. 23 USF, 31-0. DID YOU KNOW? Former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill is serving as Rutgers' of- fensive coordinator. Kill stepped down as the Gophers' coach in 2015 after suffering a series of epileptic seizures. He spent seven months as an associate AD at Kansas State but wanted to get back into coaching and was hired last December by Rutgers to coach the team's quarterbacks and oversee the offense. M A T T   H E R B | M A T T @ B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M Chris Ash's first season at Rutgers was an ordeal. There's no way to sug- arcoat it. The Scarlet Knights finished last in the Big Ten in scoring offense and next-to-last in scoring defense. They won only two games – against Howard and New Mexico in September – and were outscored by their six Big Ten East Division rivals by a combined margin of 288-40. Two days after the season ended with a 31-13 loss to Maryland, Ash con- vened a team meeting in which he rehashed all the things that had gone wrong. "We laid everything out there about what contributed to that horrible KNIGHT MOVES Rutgers has been coming on strong lately, but can it maintain its pace vs. PSU? If they're to upset Penn State on Saturday, the Scarlet Knights will need to con- tain Barkley. The star Penn State running back (and former Rut- gers recruit) rushed for 287 yards and three touchdowns in his two previous games against the Knights. Photo by Steve Manuel 1 N O V E M B E R 8 , 2 0 1 7 B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M

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