Rutgers looks for its first win of the season when it hosts FCS opponent Morgan State on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights gave sixth-ranked Washington a run for their money in the season opener (30-14), but the optimism soon faded after they suffered a disappointing 16-13 setback to Eastern Michigan, which had lost its previous 58 games against Power 5 opponents.
“We need to play better and win football games so that’s on me,” Rutgers coach Chris Ash told reporters. “I’ve got to get the football team ready to make those plays that are out there.” Rutgers has dropped 11 straight games dating back to last season, including seven in a row at home, and has been held to 14 points or less nine times during their losing skid. The Scarlet Knights shut out Morgan State 38-0 in their last meeting in 2008 and have fared well against teams from the Mid-Eastern American Conference, posting a 13-0 record while outscoring their opponents 558-88 in the process. The Bears have yet to score a point in two games after falling to Towson (10-0) and Albany (26-0), but hope to notch its first signature win under second-year coach Fred T. Farrier.
TV: 3:30 p.m. BTN. LINE: None
ABOUT MORGAN STATE (0-2): Former Mississippi State quarterback Elijah Staley struggled with his accuracy as he was limited to 170 yards on 18-of-40 passing and Herb Walker, who rushed for a program-record 1,408 yards in 2014, was held to eight yards on the ground. “We’ve got to do a better job of taking advantage of the talents our guys have,” Farrier told reporters. “Sitting here 0-2 it’s difficult to find moral victories after being shut out in two games.” Eric Alvis Jr. led the way with six tackles and a sack for a defensive unit which ranks sixth in the FCS in total defense (221 yards per game).
ABOUT RUTGERS (0-2): Senior quarterback Kyle Bolin threw for 198 yards and finished without a touchdown pass while throwing two costly interceptions in the loss to Eastern Michigan. Robert Martin ran for 68 yards against the Eagles and needs 180 more to move into 10th place on the Scarlet Knights’ all-time rushing list. Offensive coordinator Jerry Kill, who stepped down as the head coach of Minnesota in 2015 due to complications from epilepsy, was hospitalized with a minor seizure after taking a sideline hit during Saturday’s game, but is expected to be back in time to face Morgan State.
1. Rutgers has won its three meetings with Morgan State by an average margin of 26.6 points.
2. Bolin has thrown more interceptions (four) than touchdowns (two) in 2017.
3. Morgan State hasn’t scored an offensive touchdown since Nov. 26, 2016.
PREDICTION: Rutgers 35, Morgan State 10