2012 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Football Preview
2011 Record: 9-4 (4-3 Big East)
Head Coach: Kyle Flood, first season
Projected Returning Starters: 15
Spring Game: April 28th (Scarlet 35 White 0)
Notes: Prior to Greg Schiano’s arrival in 2001, Rutgers had no posted a winning season since 1992! Even then, it took Coach Schiano until the 2005 season to lead the Scarlet Knights to a winning record and a bowl game. Prior to that 2005 post-season appearance, Rutgers was in a bowl game in 1978, the now-defunct Garden State Bowl. 16 of Schiano’s players are currently on NFL rosters, including two with the team he is currently head coach of, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kyle Flood takes over the program after Schiano’s departure in late January. Flood lacks experience as a head coach, but is familiar with recruiting the northeast, having been born and raised in the New Jersey/New York corridor.
BVTSB Take: Rutgers conference schedule is virtually the same as last year’s, sans swapping Temple for West Virginia. Coach Flood has not indicated who the starting quarterback will be, as both Chas Dodd and Gary Nova saw time in the spring game. The numbers for the two quarterbacks were virtually similar in 2011, with the only differences being that Dodd completed a slightly higher percentage of his passes, and Nova threw a couple more interceptions. Workhorse running back Jawan Jamison returns for his sophomore campaign after rushing for nine touchdowns and nearly 900 yards last season. Rutgers will have a void at wide receiver, with Mohamed Sanu’s departure for the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals. Sanu had over 1200 yards receiving and seven touchdowns in 2011. Brandon Coleman and Quron Pratt do return, having combined for over 800 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Traditionally, the non-conference schedule for Rutgers has been weak, allowing the Scarlet Knights to make the post-season in six of seven Schiano’s last seasons – he was 5-1 in bowl games. Rutgers was 4-1 in non-conference games in 2011, defeating NC Central, Ohio University, Navy, and Army, but falling at North Carolina in a close one. Rutgers was 3-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less, last season. Rutgers could very well post another 4-1 mark in non-conference play, with games against Tulane and Arkansas on the road, and Howard, Kent State, and Army at home. Its tough to quantify what Schiano meant to a program that struggled to post a winning season for so long, but I’ll try. Don’t expect Rutgers to match last season’s win total.
2012 Early Projection: 7-5
To see the 2012 Big East composite schedule, click here.
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