The downward spiral in Piscataway continues as Scarlet Knights lose to Washington State at home, then suspends Carroo indefinitely
How does that old saying go?
"If you feel like you're going through hell, keep going."
That sure is what it feels like both inside and outside of the Rutgers football program anymore. After a dominating season-opening victory, the Scarlet Knights hosted the Washington State Cougars in a game that was built on inefficiency and a pure lack of discipline. Neither team was able to maintain any type of momentum, and the flood gates opened on both sides in the fourth quarter, where a combined 39 points were scored.
Rutgers drew 11 penalties for 100 total yards and looked uninterested at times defensively. Washington State drove down the field in the final minutes of the game, and quarterback Luke Falk cemented the Cougars' victory with a touchdown pass with just 21 seconds left on the game clock. Falk put up 478 yards through the air on 47-of-66 passing for Washington State's pass-happy offense. All in all, Rutgers' defense wasn't ready for this passing attack, and quarterback Chris Laviano has yet to endear himself with the fan base as the right choice moving forward under center.
There's plenty of blame to go around, so why not share it?
Unless you were either at the game, or watching it at home on TV, you'd think that 23-of-29 passing would've been a solid performance for the Scarlet Knights' newly crowned starter; except it was all but solid. Laviano threw a horrific interception while being pressured, and was gifted with a drop of another pick in the end zone by two Washington State defenders later in the game. While Laviano was able to complete his throws, he wasn't able to efficiently keep the offense in a flow during the game. Whether it was miscommunicaton, or just a lack of in-game chemistry, it wasn't pretty nor effective. With fans still clammoring for Hayden Rettig to be given the starting job, Laviano's microscope will only intensify after this loss. The loss certainly doesn't fall entirely on his shoulders, but it doesn't help his case any with an anxious fan base.
Return specialist Janarion Grant gifted the defense 14 points, and it still wasn't enough to overcome the Washington State passing attack. Falk put the ball in the air 66 times, and Rutgers was unable to force a turnover, or create any type of pressure in the backfield. Falk had seemingly all day to throw, and was surgically moving down the field all afternoon with precision and accuracy. It was surprising not to see any creative blitz packages or pass-rush schemes in the defensive game plan, something that easily contributed to Falk feeling entirely comfortable and poised on Saturday.
Rutgers also suspended leading receiver Leonte Caroo indefinitely on Sunday, after what head coach Kyle Flood said was related to an incidient outside of HighPoints Solutions Stadium after Saturday's game. The exact details of the incident are still undisclosed, but it's just another proving point that Flood has absolutely lost control of this program as a whole. We're entering week 3 of the 2015 campaign, and Rutgers has already dismissed six players, undergone an internal investigation on their head coach, and now has suspended their leading receiver for the foreseeable future.
Rutgers needed this victory over Washington State to continue their upswing in the Big Ten this season. With a road trip out to Happy Valley to face Penn State this coming weekend, one would have to imagine they're going to be licking their chops on their way home to face Kansas in week 4. It's an ugly time in Piscatway right now, but it's early. Flood may not be around to see much more if things continue to get out of hand, and not many would bat an eye if that were to be the case.
— Written by Chris Dougherty, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Dougherty also serves as a National Recruiting Analyst for 247Sports.com and has written for other sites, including FanSided.com and Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @warontheweekend.