With the season winding down, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back on the Rutgers season and give a review of the key players, coaches, and fan base in general. This review is going to be a little bit different than your usual review though, I decided to take lyrics from songs and assign them, giving this review a little bit more of a personal feel to it. With that, away we go.
Chris Ash - "Show a little faith there is magic in the night, you ain't a beauty but hey you're alright" - Bruce Springsteen/Thunder Road
Starting with the man at the top, this season has not gone the way anyone wanted it to but, Ash knew this was going to be a process. His message to recruits has to be one of patience and believing in something that is bigger than any one individual. He knows that there is potential here to get back to national prominence.
Drew Mehringer - "...this is just a journey drop your worries you are gonna turn out fine...but you gotta keep your head up" - Andy Grammer/Keep Your Head Up
One of the most criticized members of the coaching staff, year one has not gone to plan for Mehringer. Between quarterback struggles and inconsistent play calling, blame for losses has been easy to assign but, there is hope. Fans have to remember that these aren't Mehringer's guys, he's trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Give him time to bring in his guys and then see if the offense takes off or remains stagnant.
Jay Niemann - "I'd love you to love me" - Cheap Trick/I want you to want me
Last season, one of the big struggles of the Rutgers defense was tackling, and just big plays in general, and all spring and summer we read about how they were practicing rugby tackling and it was going to be better but, the harsh reality is that was not the case. Over the past 10 years the Rutgers program has built itself a solid foundation based on defense and special teams and to get back to glory, the defense has to get better and that means people will be loving Niemann.
Gio Rescigno- "...snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity..." - Eminem/Lose Yourself
A few weeks ago this quote would have been a lot more happy sounding but, an unimpressive game against Indiana followed by a clunker against Michigan State is a cause for concern. Rescigno has shown flashes of excellence with his feet and his arm but it doesn't feel like he can put the team on his back and get a win. He has one more chance against Maryland to end the season on a high note.
Chris Laviano - "I want you, I need you, but there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you" - Meat Loaf/Two out of Three Ain't Bad
A year after putting up some decent numbers and almost leading an upset victory over Michigan State, Laviano lost the faith of the Rutgers fans. Game after game fans were calling for Laviano to be benched and when he was there was this sweeping relief amongst fans. At the end of the day, it had nothing to do with Laviano as a quarterback, it more had to do with the fact that he wasn't a fit for the offense. Hopefully he sticks it out with the program and who knows, maybe he still has a big moment left.
Hayden Rettig - "Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart" - Eli Young Band/Even if it Breaks Your Heart
The saying in football is the most popular player on the team is the backup quarterback and Rettig knows that all too well. For two years now he has not been able to win the starting job but, that hasn't stopped fans from clamoring for him to play, dreaming of what he can accomplish.
Janarion Grant - "Without you...the mind churns, the heart yearns" - Rent/Without You
A season ending ankle injury against Iowa cost Rutgers their best playmaker and the most dynamic player on the team. Rutgers probably still doesn't beat Michigan or Ohio State but fans are left to wonder what could have been if Grant had not gotten injured.
Darius Hamilton - "It's over when its over ain't it baby ain't it. Rips ya like a dagger, can it baby, can it. Wish we could do it over" - Eric Church/Over When it's Over
As the career winds down on one of the highest touted recruits in Rutgers history, it is interesting to think, what would have happened if Schiano had stayed? What if Hamilton never got hurt? I'm sure there is a universe somewhere where Hamilton led Rutgers to glory and Schiano kept them in the national picture. I hope Hamilton gets a fair shot in the NFL because has has been through a lot and has earned it.
Johnathon Lewis - "The waiting is the hardest part, everyday see one more card, you take it on faith, you take it to the heart, the waiting is the hardest part" - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers/The Waiting
With the quarterback position in such disarray, Lewis cannot arrive soon enough for Scarlet Knight fans. A blend of running and passing makes Lewis seem like a perfect fit for the offense and has fans salavating at what next season could possibly look like.
Greg Schiano - "I'm only one call away, I'll be there to save the day" - Charlie Puth/One Call Away
You never know!
Rutgers Fanbase - "So wake me up when it's all over, when I'm wiser and I'm older" - Avicii/Wake Me Up
Anyway you spin it, this has been a long season for Rutgers fans. From the Grant injury to 78-0, it has just been hard. The future is still bright and hope remains but for now, let us know when it is the 2017 season.