The Rutgers University football program is getting used to winning ugly, much like it did Saturday afternoon in a 21-20 victory over Navy in a non-conference contest at High Points Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. The victory helped the Scarlet Knights (5-1, 2-0 Big East Conference) move to within one win from becoming bowl eligible. Something nobody, at least this early in the season, saw coming.
"(the University of Cincinnati and Rutgers) nobody picked anywhere near the top of the conference are now one win away from becoming bowl eligible," wrote ESPN.com's Big East blogger Andrea Adelson Sunday. "Both were 4-8 last season; both sit at 5-1 headed into next week. Both hit the road next week: Rutgers is at Louisville; Cincinnati goes to USF."
Here's what the SB Nation blog On The Banks had to say Sunday morning:
Getting by with a large turnover margin is sustainable over a season. It is not sustainable over a long-term basis, and it is certainly subject to week-to-week fluctuations as we saw yesterday. Looking at the raw underlying stats, Rutgers should have beaten Navy by double digits. The Scarlet Knights had a considerable edge in first downs, total yardage, and time of possession. Navy won the turnover game though, and shockingly were not called for one single chop block all game. Navy is a good team, who have been the recipients of some bad luck and a tougher-than-normal schedule. However, RU is significantly better, and they win by a larger margin if yesterday's game was replayed multiple times.
Despite there being some question marks -- such as its quarterback position -- Rutgers is now a stunning 5-1 on the season and a early-season contender in the Big East. Wow!