Rutgers football: Three takeaways from Rutgers win over Umass 8/30

Bo Melton, Rutgers football. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
Bo Melton, Rutgers football. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /
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Rutgers football
Walt Bell, UMass. Chris Ash, Rutgers football. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /

After a rocky start to the 2019 season, the Rutgers football team flexed some muscle, beating UMass 48-21. Here are three takeaways from the big win.

The Rutgers football team got off to a slow start Friday evening against FBS independents Massachusetts. Five-and-a-half minutes into the contest, Scarlet Knights Nation’s worst fears were playing out. Umass scored on a 39-yard touchdown run to take a 14-0. The teams exchanged TD’s the rest of the quarter.

Trailing 21-7 entering the second, Rutgers snapped out of their fog. A switch flipped and Rutgers remembered they were the better team. From there it was downhill. The Knights scored 31 points in the second quarter, seven in the third, then added a field goal in the fourth, all while holding Umass scoreless.

Here are our three takeaways from the game.

My own worst enemy

In his pregame interview with the Big 10 Network’s Shawn O’Hara, Ash stressed that his team couldn’t take bad penalties. Maybe his players didn’t think Ash was serious because they took some horrible penalties during the game. Five plays into the game Rutgers took a 15-yard facemask penalty.

Later in the quarter, another personal foul for unsportsmanlike conduct was called against RU that would have stopped UMass on third down. Instead, the penalty prolonged the drive and gave Massachusetts an additional 15-yards. The Minutemen scored to give them a 14-point lead. The half ended with another personal foul on Rutgers as time expired.

All totaled the Scarlet Knights took six penalties for 75 yards. That won’t work when Rutgers gets into conference play. They can’t afford to beat themselves with dumb penalties. Good teams will exploit the free plays and yards. This is an area of opportunity going forward.