When the Rutgers Scarlet Knights took on the No. 8 Louisville Cardinals on the road in their last game, the defense rose up and had a solid effort against the best offense in the AAC. They frustrated Heisman Trophy hopeful Teddy Bridgewater and gave their team a chance that they ultimately couldn’t capitalize on. In their next game, the Knights’ D gets another tall challenge when they take on the undefeated and offensively inclined Houston Cougars.
Houston joined the AAC in 2013 and has quickly shown they’re here to compete. They rank No. 2 in the conference in total offense (476.6 yards per game) and scoring offense (39.8 points per game). Freshman quarterback John O’Korn has had to grind his way through some games as he’s completing just 59.3 percent of his passes, but he is third in the conference in touchdown passes (11) and has thrown just one interception on the year. Sophomore wide receiver Deontay Greenberry has been unstoppable on the outside, ranking No. 2 in the AAC in receiving, catching 39 passes for 606 yards and three touchdowns.
This week, Houston welcomes the BYU Cougars to town for their biggest challenge of the season so far. It will be a perfect time for Rutgers, currently on a bye week, to dissect what makes this offense tick and how they can disrupt it it when the Cougars come to town October 26. Defensively, Rutgers has plenty to feel good about coming off their game against Louisville after forcing three turnovers, including two off Bridgewater (one interception, one strip-sack fumble).
They will need a similar effort next week against Houston if they hope to bounce back from their first conference loss. They can still make an impact on the AAC race but can’t afford to lose a second game. Houston poses a dangerous challenge but the Rutgers defense has shown it can frustrate the best offensive attacks in the conference. Can they do it again against the Cougars and give the Knights a shot at victory?