Shep Garner was the lone bright spot for the Lions, leading the team with 20 points.
No one really stood out on either side of the ball.
Rutgers was supposed to celebrate its seniors in the home finale and first-year coach Chris Ash hoped that a team unable to compete against its best opponents would muster enough to give his foundation-builders one final moment of glory.
In games against Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Iowa, Rutgers has scored a combined seven points and been shut out four times times, including the last two weeks. The final score was 39-0. The reality, however, didn't quite match that, largely because of Penn State's inability to fully capitalize on long, sustained drives. The Nittany Lions would earn a berth in the Big Ten title game based on a head-to-head win over the Buckeyes.
Scarlet Report takes a deeper look at the shutout loss to Penn State, and where Rutgers goes next with one game left before the offseason.
How bad is Rutgers?
The crowd at the Penn State-Rutgers game disappeared by the end of the contest as the score and weather both turned ugly. In those four games, the Knights were outgained 2,258 yards to a meager 382.
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Starting Slow- While Davis was spectacular in the first half, Penn State's offense couldn't get into a rhythm and had to settle for three field goals.
It's been a remarkable season, no question, but the Lions are banged up on the offensive line, and it was all they could do to beat an average IN team that lost five fumbles. We have a lot of them. After the game, Franklin said Barkley was fine and could have returned if needed. "This is a insane game". We've seen what it can do for us. "It isn't always pretty". If they defeat the Spartans and Ohio State beats MI in Columbus, Ohio, they would represent the Big Ten East in the conference championship game December 3 in Indianapolis. Another major problem was that Rutgers was just 1 for 14 in 3rd down conversion attempts.
"Coach puts in our heads all the time that we've got to keep focused on Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers", cornerback Christian Campbell said.
The Nittany Lions capitalized on a blocked punt by Juwan Johnson at the Rutgers 10-yard line at the start of the third quarter to move ahead 16-0. Another may soon be following suit, as three-star running back Johnathan Lovett announced Monday via Twitter his decision to decommit from Rutgers.
Penn State's early highlight was a fourth-and-1 conversion, on which McSorley flipped to a wide-open Mike Gesicki on a run-pass option.
As linebacker Brandon Bell said, "We have an opportunity". He took it in himself from 12 yards out with 4:07 to go. Although Penn State fell to No. 1 Duke 78-68 in the first game of the day, legendary Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski was quick to praise the young Nittany Lions, who are relying heavily on three freshmen to carry the scoring load, telling reporters: "I think they're going to be really good, that's why I think it's a big win for us". For some, this is the last weekend of non-conference action before Big Ten play begins.
The Lions finished with 339 yards rushing, no surprise given how much other teams have gouged the Knights on the ground. Fortunately, the defense was ready to play from the outset. Miles Sanders was second to Barkley with 85 yards, on just five carries.