2009 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Football Preview
2009 Rutgers Scarlet Knights season preview from Maddux Sports. Below you can find our official Rutgers Scarlet Knights football preview as well as the 2009 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Football Schedule. After reading this article check out our college football predictions against the current point spread.
Coach: Greg Schiano (9th year at Rutgers)
Team Name: Scarlet Knights
2008 Overall Record: 8-5
Returning Starters: 13
In 2005, the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers (8- 5 overall, 5- 2 Big East) made their first bowl appearance since 1978. Since that time, they’ve been to the post-season four years running, including a 29- 23 victory over NC State in last season’s Papajohn’s Bowl. That was the Knights’ third-straight bowl victory. Last year in the regular-season, they tied for second with West Virginia.
For the offense, the question is how will the Knights replace quarterback Mike Teel (3,418 YDs, 25 TDs) and receiver Kenny Britt (1,371 YDs, 7 TDs)? Both were massive players. In 2008, the Rutgers’ passing game was ranked 18th in the nation, averaging 270.4 YPG. Senior QB Dominic Natale (8 ATT, 3 COMP. 36 YDs, 0 INT, 0 TD) will try to fill the huge shoes of Teel. He has talent and skill. If he does not work out, then freshman quarterback Tom Savage, who is the finest young talent that Rutgers has ever recruited, could be the answer. Tim Brown (27 REC, 565 YDs, 6 TDs) will attempt to become the next Britt. The running game includes Kordell Young (142 ATT, 554 YDs, 5 TDs) and Jordan Brooks (100 ATT, 516 YDs, 6 TDs). Five starters return to the frontline. That is definitely good news. Look for the Knights to run an option play or two or more each game, mixing it up on opponent defenses. Last season, Rutgers averaged 29.0 PPG, ranking them 39th in the nation.
The defense allowed just 18.9 PPG in 2008, securing them a ranking of 19th nationally. Middle linebacker Ryan D’Imprerio (95 TKLs, 5.5 SKs, 7 TFLs, 1 INT) and defensive end George Johnson (39 TKLs, 2 SKs, 8 TFLs, 1 INT) are hallmark players. Both the frontline and linebacking units on this team are deep and the safety spots look good too. The corners are a bit questionable, but pound-for-pound and player-for-player, this D-unit is the best in the conference.
On special teams, kicker San San Te, now a sophomore, is one of the top performers in the nation, while punter Teddy Dellaganna has proven to be dependable. On kick returns, Jason McCourtly averaged 25.8 yards. It’s hoped that special teams coordinator Robb Smith can improve the punt return and coverage squads.
Head coach Greg Schiano (46- 51 in eight years at Rutgers) has overseen only one college team—the Scarlet Knights. In a very short time, he has transformed them from an also-ran to a perennial bowl contender. This season, the Knights certainly have their work cut out for them. Rutgers opens versus Big East opponent Cincinnati. Winning that one will help define Rutgers’ season. This year, the Knights have a light non-conference schedule that includes Howard, Florida International and Army. On December 5, they end their season versus West Virginia. That game could determine the Big East championship. Look for Rutgers to finish either third or fourth in the Big East and to get an invite to a lower end bowl contest such as the Meineke Car Care Bowl or the St. Petersburg Bowl.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights Football Schedule
For more info on the 2009 Rutgers Scarlet Knights football program, view the Scarlet Knights football site or you can read about other Big East teams below.