Rutgers Football Week 3 Grades vs. Virginia Tech
Gavin Wimsatt has not turned the ball over in three games for Rutgers. Typically, that would warrant a higher grade but the Scarlet Knights have not opened it up for Wimsatt just yet. He finished 7-for-16 on Saturday for just 46 yards and a touchdown. The reason Wimsatt’s grade is not lower is because he was electric using his legs, rushing for 87 yards and a touchdown.
Running Backs: A+
The run game has become the identity for Rutgers over the first three weeks. Kyle Monangai has been the workhorse. He rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns in the win. After this performance, he was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. Monangai currently ranks first in the Big Ten and sixth national in rushing yards (357).
Wide Receivers: C
As good as the run game has been, the pass game has not been. The question marks continue on the outside. The play-calling has been impressive because Ciarrocca is not putting his players in a position to fail. At some point, wide receivers will have to step up. Against Virginia Tech, just two receivers caught a pass. Christian Dremel caught three passes for 34 yards and a score.
Tight Ends: B
Johnny Langan caught just one pass for two yards on Saturday, bring his total to five on the year, but his work as a blocker is invaluable for this offense. Langan has been used as a positionless player over the course of his career in Piscataway. He is willing to block and his work as a sixth offensive lineman has helped the rushing attack explode.
Offensive Line: B+
The offensive line has been a problem during Greg Schiano’s second tenure at Rutgers but it seems to be improving. Still an imperfect unit, the offensive line has brought consistency as the five have remained rock solid over the first three weeks of the season. And once again, the rushing numbers speak for themselves.
Front Seven: A
Tyreem Powell and Deion Jennings totaled 20 tackles on Saturday. The defense as a whole finished with four sacks, all coming from up front. Aaron Lewis got in on the action, along with Mayan Ahanotu. The front has been able to get to the quarterback this season, which has been a big improvement from 2022.
The secondary lost some key pieces from last year and the growing pains continue a bit. Max Melton is still a strong Big Ten corner while Robert Longerbeam brings experience as well. The safety position will grow as the season goes on. On Saturday, Virginia Tech receivers got comfortable at times and the road only gets tougher in the Big Ten.
Special Teams: B
There have not been return opportunities in the kicking game with the fair-catch rule implemented in college football. Rashad Rochelle had just one chance at a punt return and logged four yards. Kicking, Rutgers scored five touchdowns and Jai Patel finished them all off with an extra point. Flynn Appleby punted seven times averaging over 41 yards per kick and landing two inside the 20. All in all, this is a solid performance and brings consistency.