STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) – The Nittany Lions are preparing for Saturday’s noon kickoff against Rutgers following a 24-15 loss to rivals Michigan and the firing of offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich this weekend.

Penn State will be seeking a rebound win against the Scarlet Knights, who were just shut out by No. 22 Iowa last week.

The Nittany Lions have only ever lost to Rutgers twice and hold a 31-2 record in the series.

Last time out

Penn State (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten)

Drew Allar went 10 for 22 for 70 yards in the loss to Michigan with one touchdown and a sack in the contest. The top Penn State rusher was Kaytron Allen with 12 attempts for 72 net yards. Tyler Warren led the receiving game for the Nittany Lions with 2 receptions for 25 yards. Theo Johnson, however, was the only receiver to score a touchdown.

Adisa Isaac led the defense with 3 tackles for a loss. Dani Dennis-Sutton contributed the only sack of the game for Penn State and had 2 tackles for a loss.

Penn State gained 164 yards on the ground and 74 passing yards against Michigan. The defense held Michigan to a 46.2% success rate for third-down conversions.

Rutgers (6-4, 3-4 Big Ten)

Iowa controlled the game against Rutgers last Saturday, shutting them out 22-0. Quarterback Gavin Wimsatt was 7 for 18 for 93 yards in the loss, throwing one interception and getting sacked once.

Rutgers was held to 127 yards on offense, with Iowa gaining 402 yards. Rutgers had just an 18.18% success rate on third down, while Iowa had a 50% success rate.

Dissecting Rutgers

Rutgers is currently tied for fourth place in the Big Ten East with Maryland.

The Scarlet Knights are led by Head Coach Greg Schiano who is in his second stint of a 15-season career with Rutgers and is the all-time wins leader for the football program. Schiano rejoined the program in December 2019.

Under Schiano, Rutgers has seen seven bowl games and five bowl victories. Schiano has coached 97 Scarlet Knights to NFL contracts.

Gavin Wimsatt is averaging a 47.83% pass completion percentage with 15 touchdowns (7 passing, 8 rushing). The junior quarterback has thrown for 1356 yards and rushed for 409 yards across 10 contests.

Running back Kyle Monangai is the top Rutgers rusher with 181 attempts for 942 net yards and 7 touchdowns. Wide receiver Christian Dremel leads the Scarlet Knights’ receivers with 30 receptions for 390 yards and 3 touchdowns.

“Guys that we’re impressed with are their running back, Kyle Monangai,” said Head Coach James Franklin. “Physical back, powerful back. Doing a really nice job in their system. And then their tight end, Johnny Langan who seems like he’s been playing there forever. Does a lot of different things for them and does it well.” 

On defense, linebacker Deion Jennings has a team-high 75 tackles along with 2.5 tackles for loss. Defensive back Desmond Igbinosun leads the team in the latter category with 5.5 tackles for loss. Defensive linemen Aaron Lewis and Wesley Bailey share the most sacks with three each.

Rutgers is averaging 310.5 total yards per game and has a 36% success rate on third down. The Scarlet Knights have held their opposition to an average of 294.4 yards per game with a 39% success rate on third down.