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Drawing no conclusions

As with the Howard game, I don't feel comfortable drawing any conclusions from Saturday's blowout win over Texas Southern. The team likely kept a lot under wraps looking ahead to Friday's home date with Pittsburgh. I don't know where the team is at right now; I'm interested in finding out. My working hypothesis is something along the lines of "Maryland game with better QB play from Savage", but that remains to be seen.

The coaching staff burned Quron Pratt's redshirt, at receiver no less? Disconcerting. Oh well.

Watching New York make the Raiders look like Texas Southern yesterday, I could only catch the tail end of Rice/Leonard I (I'll stick with that name, it sounds like a marquee boxing fight). Looks like Leonard is definitely turning into Carson Palmer's safety blanket as a receiver out of the backfield for the fledging Bengals. He apparently had another leap. With nearly 150 total yards, Ray Rice practically was the entire Baltimore offense on the day. It's hard to believe at this point that concerns about his size (along with, admittedly, a loaded RB class) pushed him down to the second round.

"Right now, I'm trying to be an all-purpose back," Rice said. "I don't want guys taking me for granted out there just saying he's a receiver. [I want to] prove we can run between the tackles. My yards are going to come all-purpose. That's what I know."

On final note on why they'd play such a bad opponent though; did anyone notice that Temple and Virginia won on Saturday? Despite their loss to FCS Villanova, Temple isn't bad at all for a MAC team. Consider the fact that 'Nova only has one loss, to unbeaten FCS (ugh) New Hampshire. Rutgers is no longer in a position where they'd lose to a good FCS team, but there's no upside in risking it. One of the things that often goes overlooked with the whole FBS/FCS distinction is that some of the better FCS teams at the top of the CAA aren't half bad.

That's obviously the plan for why a Texas Southern would take on so many FBS transfers, to the point of actively seeking them out (apparently including booted Michigan DB Justin Feagin). It may result a look or two from a wandering NFL scout taking in a game, but that's not really a plan for long-term success. At Rutgers, we've seen that most transfers usually don't contribute all that much. Delaware may be the one exception, but a lot of those other CAA schools seem to get it done with redshirting and talent development.

The one other box score that caught my eye was Army's victory over Vanderbilt. Rutgers needs all the OOC juice it can get at this point, so every small victory like that helps somewhat. Yep, recruiting plays into it too with Vandy. They're hard to root against, but I will be for the rest of the year.