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Ok, third time's a charm

After a good day of practice Friday, Dom Natale struggled in Saturday's scrimmage, which will only create more opportunities for D.C. Jefferson and Tom Savage. Tom Luicci points out that some of the QB struggles may stem from the defense being legitimately good. It's true, the offense may be "hard to watch" in scrimmages, but they won't face anyone nearly on our defense's level until the Pitt game. Now the offense will have one more scrimmage later this week to get the rest of the kinks out, before the Cincy prep begins in earnest.

Heralded linebacker recruit Marcus Witherspoon is only the latest in a long series of RU backers to get a look at DE. That position suddenly looks a lot more crowded, with backup TE Fabian Ruiz now moving to end too. Even if Ruiz wasn't cutting it at TE, Rutgers now just has three true freshman behind starter Shamar Graves. The roster also looks very deep at defensive end. Could another DE or LB shift to offense?

However, I'd argue that the most notably Friday development was that Edmond Laryea, who had only recently switched back to the fullback position several days ago, had moved ahead of Andres "Hoagie" Morales on the depth chart. That's quite the fall for Morales. He arguably should have started in 2008, and is now glued to the same spot on the bench where Coach Schiano kept Joe Porter for two long years.

Tim Pernetti was on WFAN on Friday with Mike Francesa (video). One of the first thinks that Pernetti mentions is that he's had trouble finding quality schedule opponents. He also confirmed that there's a deal in principle with the new Giants Stadium to play Army.

Wait, so now Julian Hayes is the breakout receiver of camp? You don't like hearing that Kordell Young isn't making progress in the RB race, but how about Manny Abreu giving Lowery a run for his money at weakside linebacker? I still like Lowery by a hair, but Abreu has a bright, bright future. My fave Eric LeGrand is at nose tackle for good, and I guess Evan Lampert is the fifth tackle now, too. What's really going to be huge is if the Rutgers special teams can take a step forward.

I haven't seen much on Kevin Malast out of Chicago's camp, but Tribune writer Brad Biggs says he's been the second most impressive rookie in camp. Malast is perfect for Chicago's Tampa 2 scheme, and the only possible obstacle for him would be their depth chart. Tiquan Underwood may be edging ahead of Jarrett Dillard for Jacksonville's last receiver spot. He's practiced well, but his continued his issues with dropping passes in games. Ray Rice (who's been looking good as a route runner) and the Ravens play the Jets tonight.

The Cincinnati Reds promoted Todd Frazier to Triple A Louisville, which means that he's not far off from the major leagues.

"He’ll move all around," player development director Terry Reynolds said. "But I think he’ll play primarily second."

Nick Carparelli, the only Big East official that I actually like, isn't giving up on the Sun Bowl just yet, and says that the conference may have other options.

Rutgers transfer QB Chris Paul-Etienne may start for Rhode Island this fall.

Construction continues on the Rutgers campus. I'm curious when they'll start to do something with Livingston, and a lot of College Ave is decaying and needs major work too. New Brunswick is trying to put the kibosh on basement shows. NJ Books is still in limbo.

Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan may have twisted the knife in Bob Mulcahy's back. Now, he's floating the idea of raising taxes to increase funding for higher education. Gov. Corzine won't be too happy about this kind of talk in an election year.

The next step in addressing college costs, according to Diegnan: create a consistent funding formula for higher education that incorporates a stable stream of support. That could take the form of adding on to the sales tax, he said.

"Nobody wants to venture into the 'T word,'…" Diegnan said. "But somewhere down the line, you're going to need a reliable funding source."

While I'm on the subject, PolitickerNJ has a new post about how media cutbacks are hurting coverage of state politics and government.

Xanadu's parent company is having other financial difficulties.