I am basing the below depth chart on what it was last week, performances from Saturday's game, and information I have read this week. If an official depth chart is released and changes need to be made, I will update it. Here is the depth chart as I see it for all three units for this week, including notes on each. For reference, here is this week's injury report.
QB: Chris Laviano/Hayden Rettig/Giovanni Rescigno
RB: Paul James OR Josh Hicks OR Justin Goodwin OR Robert Martin
FB: Sam Bergen/Anthony Folkerts
TE: Nick Arcidiacono/Matt Flanagan/Charles Scarff
WR: Leonte Carroo/Carlton Agudosi
WR: Andre Patton/Janarion Grant
LT: Keith Lumpkin/Zack Heeman
LG: Dorian Miller/Tariq Cole
C: Derrick Nelson/Zach Venesky
RG: Chris Muller/Marcus Applefield
RT: J.J. Denman/Ryan Brodie
- Chris Laviano makes his first career start and by all indications from Kyle Flood, he is expected to play the entire game.
- I did read there was no change on the depth chart for the stable of running backs, with all of them listed equally. In reality, Josh Hicks and Paul James appear to be the top two backs with Robert Martin being the third back. In terms of carries against Norfolk State, Hicks led with 18, James had 15 and Martin had 10. Goodwin had 2 carries late and will be used more on third down action. Martin did lose a fumble late in the 4th quarter, his second consecutive regular season game doing so, dating back to the Maryland game last year.
- True freshman Anthony Folkerts has secured the backup fullback spot, earning praise from Flood after the game, citing his versatility.
- Matt Flanagan scored the first touchdown of the season for Rutgers, but is still the backup for Nick Arcidiacono. They will both see a lot of action this Saturday.
- The offensive line performed well against Norfolk State and they are starting to gel as a unit. Flood cited Dorian Miller as having a strong performance last week. A key to this week's game is establishing the running game early to slow down the pass happy offense of Mike Leach and Washington State.
DE: Quanzell Lambert/Kemoko Turay
NT: Sebastian Joseph/Kevin Wilkins
DT: Julian Pinnix-Odrick/Eric Wiafe OR Jon Bateky
DE: Djwany Mera/Jimmy Hogan
WLB: Steve Longa/Deonte Roberts
MLB: Kaiwan Lewis/Isaiah Johnson
SLB: Quentin Gause/Eric Margolis OR Kevin Marquez
CB: Isaiah Wharton/Ronnie James
FS: Anthony Cioffi/ Saquan Hampton
SS: Davon Jacobs/Andre Hunt OR Kiy Hester
CB: Bleassuan Austin/Jarius Adams
- Julian Pinnix-Odrick aka JPO, lived up to the preseason praise from coach Flood, turning in a dominant performance in place of the injured Darius Hamilton. With Hamilton out again this week, I think optimistically, the earliest we will see him back in action is the Michigan State game after the bye week. It was a good start for JPO and we need his "A" game every week.
- Djwany Mera was listed as questionable on the injury report so we will have to wait and see how much he can play Saturday.
- Kemoko Turay was upgraded to probable on the injury report this week. He was limited last week, so until he returns fully healthy, he is slotted behind Lambert on the depth chart. Lambert is versatile and it's possible he slides over if Mera is limited against Washington State and Turay is able to play more downs.
- Kiy Hester was upgraded to questionable so there is hope he will make his debut Saturday. We can use all the help we can find in the secondary against the "Air Raid" offense of Washington State.
- Expect the entire two deep in the secondary to see a ton of snaps as WSU coach Mike Leach should be expected to call for the pass 50+ times on Saturday. Sub packages will be used frequently, potentially limiting how much all three starting linebackers will be on the field together. As Griffin cited in his defensive breakdown, defensive coordinator Joe Rossi moves personnel around in a variety of formations, so it will be interesting to see his plan on Saturday.
K: Kyle Federico/Chris Gough
P: Joey Roth/Michael Cintron
LS: Alan Lucy/Alex Hutchings
H: Joey Roth/Brian Verbitski
KR/PR: Janarion Grant/Josh Hicks
- Federico was a perfect 9-9 on extra points last week with no field goal attempts.
- Janarion Grant changed the momentum of the 2nd half last week, opening it with a 80 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He has the ability to impact the game with every touch of the football and gives Rutgers a big edge on special teams.