Rutgers finishes spring practices, will hold annual Scarlet-White game
The Rutgers football team finished up its regular run of spring practices on Thursday morning, finally completing its 13th go around of training.
After a final tune-up on Friday, things will culminate for the Scarlet Knights this Saturday afternoon, as they hold the annual Scarlet-White game at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Rutgers has practiced every Tuesday and Thursday since March 6 — besides during spring break —and also added two Saturday’s and two Friday's to their weekly regimen as the annual scrimmage game came closer.
Head coach Chris Ash has seen a lot out of his younger players, who he said have begun to shine in practices and are developing into some of his better players. At the same time, he said the older players are continuing to push themselves and understand there is always room for improvement.
“We know our team. Each year is a new team, each spring is a new team,” Ash said to RVision and members of the media on Thursday. “We know these guys a lot better now, we know what their strengths and weaknesses are. We know our team, we know our coaches and we’re starting to put it all together still.”
The Knights have made a number of changes to their coaching staff during the offseason, none bigger than the addition of John McNulty as the new offensive coordinator.
McNulty spent the previous 10 years on the NFL sidelines with the Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans and, most recently, the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers. Prior to that, McNulty also spent five years on the sidelines with Rutgers in the mid-2000s.
“We’re way ahead of where we have been the past two springs,” Ash said in talking about the addition of McNulty and his system to the Knights. “We’ve got more guys out there this spring than what we’ve had in the past … we’re way ahead of what we’ve been in the past.”
Rutgers gets to return to the High Point Solutions Stadium field and compete in front of fans for the first time since Nov. 25, 2017 when the Knights were crushed by Michigan State, 40-7, in the season finale.
Although Rutgers ended the season on a three-game losing streak, the Knights seemingly had their best season under Ash yet, finishing the season 4-8 and 3-6 in the Big Ten. This was a significant improvement over Ash’s first season at the helm of the team when Rutgers went 2-10 and did not win a single game in the Big Ten, going 0-8.
Through the teams various new additions, the Knights will look to produce one of their best seasons in recent memory, both under Ash and in the Big Ten. In its first season in the Big Ten, while under former head coach Kyle Flood, Rutgers went 8-5 and 3-5 in the conference.
“What’ve we won, six games in the past two years? There’s not a lot of positions that have been solidified. We need guys to compete to get better,” Ash said.