With Potential to Start 9-0, Rutgers Must Take It One Game at a Time
Added by Gregg Snyder on October 5, 2012.
Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood has kept his team going forward one game at a time. Photo: Danny Johnston / AP
If you looked at the Rutgers football schedule during the preseason, it was clear the early season tests would be road games at South Florida and Arkansas. The Scarlet Knights passed both those tests as they have begun the 2012 season with an undefeated 4-0 record. The schedule now sets up with Rutgers having a legitimate chance to win their next five games and improve to 9-0. In fact, you might even go as far to say Rutgers should now go 9-0 before their tough stretch to end the season.
However, nothing in the world of sports is that easy. Just because you should win a game does not mean you will. The Scarlet Knights will need to stay focused and take their schedule one game at a time, beginning Saturday when they host Connecticut at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Rutgers has it’s fan base behind them; the students are excited and High Point Solutions Stadium is nearly sold out for tomorrow’s game. Connecticut is a team Rutgers should beat. The Huskies, however, tend to typically play well against Rutgers. A focused Rutgers team should be able to come away with a victory. However, if the Scarlet Knights are not in the correct mindset after their emotional win over SEC opponent Arkansas two weeks ago, the Huskies have enough to knock Rutgers down. Last week’s bye could have come at a great time. Hopefully the extra practice time dulled any potential hangover from the win at Arkansas.
If Rutgers gets by Connecticut, they will then host Syracuse next week. The Orange are a tough team to figure out. Syracuse looked like they might be a team on the rise, but have since fallen a bit. Again, they are another team that has a tendency to give Rutgers fits if they are not ready to play and focused. No team should ever look past an opponent of any caliber, but especially not a conference opponent.
After Connecticut and Syracuse, Rutgers will go on the road to play Temple followed by two home games with Kent State and Army before a tough stretch of games with Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Louisville to finish out the season. It’s right there for the taking. Rutgers could, and maybe should, head to Cincinnati with a 9-0 record and higher ranking in the Top 25.
However, in order for that to happen, Rutgers must take one game at a time and continue to play their game and improve on it. Gary Nova played his best game two weeks ago against Arkansas. He must continue to lead the offense and improve his own play. Every player on the team must continue to improve week in and week out.
Football is a short season, it’s not like baseball where you play many more games. In football, every game matters just as much as the one before and the one after. This Rutgers team has the opportunity to do something very special, but they need to continue with a one game at a time mentality or it can all crumble in a heartbeat.