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Bowl hopes still alive for Knights

There's still a chance.

Not a great chance, but a chance.

"We're going to keep fighting, keep working, keep building," Rutgers coach Chris Ash said after his team fell to 4-6 with a 35-6 loss at Penn State. "Our locker room is strong. They'll stay together and keep working and find a way to get another win or two here at the end of the season."

The Scarlet Knights visit Indiana this week and then host Michigan State in the finale. On paper, 1-1 seems like a lofty goal they are an 11-point underdog this week and there's always that chance 5-7 can produce the first bowl bid since 2014.

Long shot? Yep.

Indiana, coming off a 24-14 win over Illinois that snapped a four-game losing streak, is also 4-6 but is only 1-6 in the Big Ten.

"It's another tough challenge to go on the road. Indiana is a good football team," Ash told his regular Monday media gathering. "They hit a tough stretch and played some really good teams early in the season. They won last Saturday.

"They are a physical football team. They play extremely hard. I've had a lot of respect for what Kevin Wilson did at Indiana and now what Tom Allen is trying to do there by moving it further ahead. They are a physical team, they play really hard. They have great players and playmakers on both sides of the ball. It's going to be a tremendous challenge. We have to have a great week of practice, and we have to play our best football game to have a chance to compete and win that game."

The Scarlet Knights actually had a 6-0 lead in Happy Valley but just made too many mistakes to survive against a good team. The Rutgers offensive numbers for the season aren't very good and this week the Knights face another decent defense.

"We weren't disciplined enough," said Ash. "We had a critical penalty on third and one on the opening drive, killed the drive. We were bad in situational football, third down and red zone. When you win games, you're probably pretty good in your penalties, your turnover battle, field position battle. Third down, red zone, has nothing to do with motivation over a point spread. It's about playing your best and doing well in situations, and that's what our motivation is right now."


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