Thoughts on the Rutgers football spring game


I did not take especially detailed notes, but here were my impressions.

  • The great weather undoubtedly helped attendance. As did 75,000 showing up to Rutgers Day, although it's probably hard to discern how many of those fed into the crowd. Or, conversely, how many families stayed away from the game to have a day out with their kids in New Brunswick.
  • Without the services of some linemen and star receiver Mohamed Sanu, the offense looked out of sync.
  • Part of that undoubtedly can be credited to strong defensive play. MLB Steve Beauharnais had a pick I remember.
  • The standouts on offense though were WRs Tim Wright and Quron Pratt, who both got a lot of looks from Tom Savage. Good signs for optimism, although nothing to the tune of Sanu's revelatory performance last year.
  • Think I remember seeing Mason Robinson on returns. He must be ahead of schedule.
  • Backup quarterback Steve Shimko's decision making remains a huge concern. He needs to pick his battles, make better reads, and stop trying to force balls into double coverage. Ideally all of that will come with more maturity in coming years.
  • At halftime, athletic director Tim Pernetti announced the spring award winners as Tim Wright (offense), Khaseem Greene (defense), and Charlie Noonan (toughness). Noonan walked gingerly out into midfield, so it wasn't a surprise to hear that he missed the game injured.
  • The Targum has highlights up, as does SK.com.
  • As far as attendance goes, there was no one sitting in the upper decks, the new endzone, or the visitors' side of the field. The other section of the lower deck was 75-80% full. I did a quick calculation and decided that 15,000 in the stands at any given moment sounded about right...and that's pretty much exactly what everyone else on Rivals and such seems to think. My above sentiments are widely shared too, meaning that this whole report is fairly accurate but mostly redundant. You'd think the recording standards are lax everywhere.
  • Now, the official attendance estimate (that is, people walking through the gates) was 20,114. I can believe that number, as a gate count, which necessarily would be different from a snapshot of looking at the crowd. That number is a new record for Rutgers, and is the highest recorded of any Big East spring game to this point (with West Virginia still on tap). I'm not sure how they even came up with the 20,114 figure though, as no one seemed to be counting when my group walked in at least. There are a lot of people who stayed outside tailgating, in addition to everyone else involved in the Rutgers Day festivities throughout New Brunswick and Piscataway.
  • Good job by the video people to get the Davis/McCourty board package up on short notice.
  • Transfer Rob Cervini saw action in the Albany spring game.
  • Booo, they're taking away bottle caps again at the concession stands.
  • Hey, this is for that dude who lost a Block R car magnet. I saw it on the shoulder on Rt. 18 N right before the Busch exit. You're welcome, happy to help.
  • Speaking of which, there was HEAVY traffic, and as a result I wasn't able to see any of the Rutgers Day stuff on Busch or tailgate at all because I had to rush into the game. Unless I missed them, there didn't seem to be the normal gameday shuttles to Johnson Park. I had to get on the Rutgers Day buses, which not only exacerbated traffic with their choice of route, but made infrequent stops, and made a frustrating stop over on Livingston when most riders just wanted to get back to College Ave.
  • Sorry, no pictures. I have a two year old camera phone which ran out of memory after taking some Rutgers Day pics (which should be up shortly). As usual, SK.com has you covered though.
  • Update: here is RDDDSands's photo album from Saturday.
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