There are some things we knew coming into this season. For one, we knew this defense had a lot of question marks. Safe to say that having the entirety of their starting secondary get suspended just days before the home opener didn't help, but what's done is done. It's just something that's going to have to be dealt with, so facing a high powered passing attack like that of Washington State was bound to be infuriating. Now, it's easy to look at the final score of the game and say that the defense, as expected, didn't do it's job. However, the fact of the matter is that it could have, even should have, been far worse. That was thanks in large part to a a half of quarterback play that can only be described as inept. Rutgers heading to the locker room within one score was at the very least a blessing and more likely a minor miracle.
I wanted Hayden Rettig to start under center for this football team. I have been very forthright with that opinion. With that said, I want to see the quarterback that has the best chance of leading Rutgers to victory on Saturday, and if that quarterback is Chris Laviano then Hayden Rettig must be deaf, dumb, blind, or some combination of at least two of those. Don't feed me completion percentage. Completion percentages don't win games. Winning the turnover battle wins games. Throwing the ball out of bounds when a play breaks down can help you win a game. Assuming, of course, that the alternative is tossing up softball interceptions or fumbling without being so much as touched. Want to take a shot in the dark as to who I am referring to? Chris Laviano's two turnovers, which should have easily been three on YET ANOTHER ill advised throw, looked like Gary Nova at his worst. You know, if Gary Nova had the right arm of a 12 year old girl with a torn rotator cuff.
Now, did Laviano's play improve in the second half? Yes. Yes it did. However, it would be disingenuous not to mention the help of the running game, as well as two monster special teams touchdowns from Janorion Grant. Without those Rutgers is looking at getting blown out, by a below average Pac-12 team, with a less than formidable defense, that was just one week removed from losing to a D1-AA team. The defense faltered, no doubt. They dropped interceptions. They missed tackles. They let Washington State drive the length of the field for a game winning touchdown in less than 90 seconds. However, games should be viewed as a whole, and with the talent that exists on the offensive side of the ball they simply can't post 6 points in one half against a bad football team. They certainly can't do it while repeatedly putting their defense in vulnerable situations against a team that they just don't match up well against. That is on Laviano, and it's on the Coach for not realizing that Laviano was jeopardizing the team's chances of winning. While it was ultimately the defense that lost this game in the waining seconds, it's the other side of the ball, and more so the quarterback, that is left without an excuse as why his offense didn't show up until after halftime. Safe to say that's not going to fly in front of 100,000 fans in the middle of Bumblefuck, Pennsylvania. Unforced errors lose games, and that's not something Rutgers can afford to do this upcoming weekend.
Who got Janarion Grant a Season Pass to the chopper? Is that against NCAA regulations?