If you've been living under a rock recently, the new Rutgers staff is installing a completely new offense built on speed and efficiency.
Drew Mehringer is leaving the boring Rutgers offense in 2015 and has promised to bring excitement to "The Banks" for all fans to experience.
The last time Rutgers had an explosive offense was in 2007. That offense was statistically one of the best in college football history. In fact, they were the only team in NCAAF history to have a 3,000 yard passer, 2,000 yard rusher, and two 1,000 yard receivers. The numbers are pretty insane:
- QB Mike Teel: 3,147 yards, 20 TD
- HB Ray Rice: 2,012 yards, 24 TD
- WR Tiquan Underwood: 65 catches, 1,100 yards, 7 TD
- WR Kenny Britt: 62 catches, 1,232 yards, 8 TD
While replicating those numbers isn't likely, it is not unreasonable to expect a 2,500 yard passer, two 1,000 yard rushers, and a 1,000 yard receiver.
Mehringer wants to install an up-tempo, spread look with a QB who can run the ball well. His options for 2016 will be limited; we will cover that more in depth this week. However, there is a slim chance Mehringer can strike gold.
The best comparison we can make is with Houston's 2015 offense and James Madison's 2014 offense. First, let's take a look at the Cougar offense from this past year:
Keep in mind that QB Greg Ward missed a game against UConn and half of their bowl victory over Florida State. In theory, Ward should've passed for 3,000 yards, but 2,800 is impressive enough for a run-first offense. Notice how Ward missed 1 1/2 games and still led the team in rushing attempts, yards, and TDs (by a huge margin). That is what Mehringer should expect from his QB down the road.
Nearly all of Ward's attempts were designed runs from the read option or draw/power plays. Expect a lot of that in 2016. I expect Josh Hicks and Rob Martin to lead the team in rushing as they will make Mehringer very happy. They should each get plenty of carries, as should Janarion Grant.
However, Grant should be the leading receiver this year. He is the most talented player returning on offense. He has shown that he has very reliable hands and can get open and make moves in the open field. The most dangerous way to use him will be on bubble screens and tunnel screens. These plays will get him in the open field very quickly and utilize his talents best. The big issue with Grant is that he was misused and seemingly neglected by various Rutgers OCs in the past three years. Mehringer should know better.
Andre Patton and Carlton Agudosi have proven to be the two best "natural" WRs on the roster. They will get plenty of playing time but will have to develop into elite blockers, as there will be many plays to the edge of the field. At 6-4 and 6-6, Patton and Agudosi should have no problem throwing around smaller DBs with the right technique.
Now, we will look at the 2014 JMU offense:
The distribution is very similar here. QB Vad Lee led the team in rushing attempts, yards, and TDs. He did thrown more often and for a lot more yards and TDs. However, it is interesting to note that in both offenses, the QB was the primary rushing threat. Lee had 39 total TDs that year while Ward totaled 38 scores on the ground and in the air. Lee had 4,288 total yards to Ward Jr.'s 3,936. These QBs put up very similar numbers while playing in the same number of games. These stats are incredibly impressive and I would be amazed if the Rutgers QB could put up similar ones in 2016.
However, if the offense is as good as the coaches are saying it will be, hold on, cause it is going to get wild.