The turmoil bubbling above the surface of Rutgers' football program isn't likely to disappear at any point this season. Player suspensions and arrests, coupled with a three-game suspension for a head coach, means the Scarlet Knights will surely remain in the news for all the wrong reasons.
But for at least one Saturday, Rutgers coaches, players and fans could forget about the recent past and an uncertain future. That's because Rutgers cruised past Kansas 27-14 at High Point Solutions Stadium, enjoying a victory against arguably the worst team in college football.
Hey, sometimes you've got to take the positives where you can find them.
What the win means for Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights improved to 2-2 in a game nobody really thought they would lose, but life is about to become much more difficult. Three of Rutgers' next four Big Ten games come against No. 2 Michigan State, No. 1 Ohio State and No. 22 Wisconsin, with a road game against a better-than-expected Indiana team sandwiched in between. Throw in games against Michigan and Nebraska, and it's possible Rutgers might not win another game until late November. In other words, they should savor Saturday's result, no matter how bad the opponent.
What the loss means for Kansas: An awful season keeps getting worse for the Jayhawks. Kansas has now lost 31 straight road games and ties Iowa State and Kent State for the most consecutive road contests without a victory since the FCS and FBS split in 1978. Kansas faces the very real possibility of becoming the first Power 5 conference team to finish a season winless since Washington in 2008. Playing Rutgers represented the Jayhawks' best remaining chance to win a game, and even those odds weren't very good. Now comes a nine-game Big 12 gantlet that will test Kansas mentally as much as physically.
The game turned when ... Rutgers clung to a 13-7 lead in the second quarter when Scarlet Knights quarterback Chris Laviano was sacked on third down for an 8-yard loss back to midfield. But Kansas linebacker Ben Goodman was flagged for a 15-yard horse-collar penalty on the tackle, which gave the Scarlet Knights a new set of downs. Four plays later, Rutgers running back Josh Hicks scored a 1-yard touchdown for a 20-7 lead.
Players of the game: Hicks and fellow tailback Robert Martin pounded Kansas into submission. Hicks carried 21 times for 113 yards with two touchdowns, and Martin carried 17 times for 102 yards. Honorable mention goes to Laviano, who entered the day ranked No. 11 nationally in completion percentage (.720) and first in the Big Ten. He maintained that mark exactly, completing 72 percent of his passes (18 of 25) for 201 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.