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It was a game of excess for the Rutgers football team.It was also a game of firsts, as scores of Scarlet Knights collected their first career or season touchdowns Saturday afternoon. Rutgers (1-2) picked up its first win of the season against Morgan State (0-3) Saturday in a 65-0 affair at High Point Solutions Stadium.
To put it simply, last week was not pretty.Staying behind or drawn with a Mid-American Conference (MAC) team like Eastern Michigan for virtually the entire game — save six minutes in the third quarter — is not a good or even serviceable look for a team from the Big Ten.As expressed throughout the week time and time again, no team wants to be on the receiving end of an early-season upset, especially if that team has had trouble knocking doubters from within its own fanbase for quite some time.That would be the Rutgers football team.As the Scarlet Knights (0-2) get set for a Saturday afternoon (3:30 p.m.) battle against Morgan State (0-2) at High Point Solutions Stadium, few things remain abundantly clear.Chief among them is the fact that fluke or not, Rutgers needs to get better.
It is difficult to measure a captain's value.There is an old adage that says it is hard to lead off the field if you cannot do it on the field.
Myles Nash seems to be doing it all.The fifth-year senior has slotted in both at tight end and on the defensive line through the first two games of the season, doing both in the same game against Eastern Michigan, the first time a Rutgers player has done that since 2013."Obviously just happy about the opportunity to play defense," Nash said.
On my way to the game, I trailed a car with both "Rutgers Mom" and "Howard Mom" stickers on the back.Seeing Howard's name before a fixture that had many similarities to last year's game against Howard — in both matchup and timing — seemed like a premonition. An interception and 71-yard return by Brody Hoying of Eastern Michigan sealed whatever signal that was with two and a half minutes to go in the fourth quarter.By that point, the Rutgers football team would have welcomed an outcome like that of last season.In what could possibly go down as one of the worst losses since head coach Chris Ash took over last year, the Scarlet Knights were silenced by Eastern Michigan to the tune of 16-13."Disappointed in the outcome of the game," head coach Chris Ash said.
The Rutgers football team chipped away at its year-to-year deficit in the Washington fixture last week, scraping off 19 points from the 2016 season opener.To begin 2017, the team fended off the Huskies for much of the first half only for the visitors at High Point Solutions Stadium to take control and put the the home side behind.The scoreline came to a halt at 30-14 in favor of Washington.
Of the positives to take away from its week one loss to No. 8 Washington, the Rutgers football team has its running backs.There are four of them — graduate transfer Gus Edwards, senior Robert Martin, freshman Raheem Blackshear and senior Josh Hicks — and three saw playing time in the Scarlet Knights' 30-14 defeat against the Huskies at High Point Solutions Stadium.It is a depth not afforded to most positions across the board for the Rutgers coaching staff, which has been a point of attention for head coach Chris Ash.“If you look at that position group right now today, with the addition of Gus, in my opinion the improved Rob Martin, adding Blackshear in there and then you’ve got Josh Hicks, we’ve got a pretty good group in there," Ash said.Against a backfield which offensive coordinator Jerry Kill deemed the best the Knights would face all season, Edwards, Martin and Blackshear outran Washington's running back core volume-wise.
At first, when the Rutgers football team forced a 3-and-out against No. 8 Washington on its first possession, rumblings coursed throughout High Point Solutions Stadium.
However much head coach Chris Ash would like to deflect sentimentality from the proceedings Friday, there is no question that the season opener for any college football team holds its own weight independent from context.Ash's first ever game at the helm of the Rutgers football team took place almost 3,000 miles away in Seattle.
For starters, John Ross is gone.The wide receiver who torched the Rutgers defense in last season’s 48-13 opener in Seattle with 183 total yards is too busy preparing for his first NFL season to revisit a matchup he so relished a year ago.In other news, virtually everyone else from the Washington offense returns to a second consecutive season opener against the Rutgers football team.
It irks those close to the Rutgers football team — in work and in fandom — to know that outlets like USA Today deem the Scarlet Knights at least equal to their output from last year. It is one thing to go 2-10, but it is another to do it twice.September 1 will come around swiftly but surely, and on that Friday night, Rutgers will do battle with Washington at High Point Solutions Stadium, a team who kicked off the Knights’ season last year with a quiet trip home from Seattle after a 48-13 loss.
"The chemistry, the brotherhood of the football team. I really like the chemistry of out team. Last year when we had offseason workouts it was all about survival and this year guys were attacking it.
With 13 practices in the books for the Rutgers football team, really one thing truly separates the Scarlet Knights from summer training camp.
Ten days out from the spring game, practice number 10 — and the second from inside High Point Solutions Stadium — wrapped up, and with less than half of the spring practice period to go, the coaching staff's observations have grown less anecdotal as the days pass.For head coach Chris Ash, there are a handful of players and units that he figures stand out from the rest of the Rutgers football team.As Ash notes, this time of spring bares incredible importance for the team's outlook heading into summer training camp, the time where him and the other coaches need to "push them mentally and physically" in order to sort out the ones from the twos even further.Some, though, have far exceeded any discussion regarding their roles on the team.
The Rutgers football team broke quite a few records last season, none of them positive, and one of them stood out among the others.Then-junior punter Michael Cintron set a Big Ten and Scarlet Knight record for most punt attempts in a season with 95.
Bad news comes in twos for the Rutgers football team it seems, as the last week has proved particularly negative for those hoping the Scarlet Knights would escape its rather haunting issues of depth that plagued them from September onward last season.
Redshirt freshman wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) announced head coach Chris Ash on Tuesday.Mitchell injured his knee during Saturday's practice — in which the Rutgers football team participated in its first scrimmage of the spring — and will undergo surgery.
Offensive line coach — and now, assistant head coach — AJ Blazek has had quite the offseason.On top of being promoted to the latter position by head coach Chris Ash during the first week of spring practice, Blazek maintains the job of filling three starting positions on the front line and acclimating three early enrollees to Rutgers football in true freshmen Micah Clark, Sam Vretman and Jamaal Beaty.But following Competition Saturday — where the offense and defense got their first competitive on-field action by way of a scrimmage — Blazek contended that that job was doing itself, courtesy of those stepping into their new roles seamlessly.“Our ones are starting to gel a little bit,” Blazek said.
When Janarion Grant went down at the lip of the endzone against Iowa in September of last season, much of the receiving burden then fell on the shoulders of then-senior Andre Patton and two-sport athlete Jawuan Harris.Harris, a true freshman, soundly stepped up in Grant’s absence, though with opposing coverage favoring him, the options for quarterback Giovanni Rescigno and company stood few and far between.
A black banner reading "The Hunt" is taped on the wall of the Indoor Practice Bubble, risen high enough for any player, coach or trainer on the Rutgers football team to take in the mantra head coach Chris Ash set in when he first came to the Scarlet Knights.Thursday began the second season of the Ash campaign, as the first spring practice of the year came underway, but the energy under the dome suggested it isn't much of a second season.