Janarion Grant will be the star on offense
The Spring Game put to rest any doubts that Grant isn't the most important piece on this offense. Instead of putting pressure on the QB to make tough throws, Drew Mehringer is having them get the ball to Grant as quick as possible and let him do the rest. His big play was taking a bubble screen 37 yards to the house. Expect a huge season for the electric do-it-all athlete.
QB will be an issue again
If Saturday night was any indication, the QB position will not be a strength once again. Chris Laviano continues to fail to put the nail in the coffin in a competition he is ahead in. Additionally, declining to speak to the media after a SCRIMMAGE is not a good look. Rettig has the fan support, although Laviano reportedly has the support of his teammates which is way more important. On the field, neither QB found a great rhythm against the undermanned backups. Keep in mind this wasn't just the second team defense, it was two walk-on CBs against two senior WRs. Laviano did show some zip on some throws, but also struggled with easy bubble screens which is a huge issue. Rettig's deep TD to Carlton Agudosi won't go unnoticed, but only goes to confirm that Rettig has a bigger arm, which has always been the case.
Linebackers have solidified
By solidified, I mean it is becoming clear who the starters will be. The SAM linebacker will be Najee Clayton, as it always has been. Meanwhile Deonte Roberts looks to be the starter at MIKE and Trevor Morris is emerging as the guy at WLB. All three of these guys are true sophomores from the recruiting class of 2015. Clayton is a converted safety, Morris had limited experience on special teams, and Roberts was the primary backup and started a game against Army last year.
The Band needs to speed up their tempo
Seriously, the band is going to need to pick it up with their first down fanfare. With a hurry up offense in place, there is no time wasted in between snaps. Every time Rutgers got a first down, the band didn't get to finish playing before the clap signaling the snap. It seems like the band will have to significantly speed up the tempo or choose something else to play every time Rutgers gets a first down. All jokes about the band aside, this offense is fast.
Bottom Line: This team is not ready
Chris Ash doesn't think so and neither do I. There is no way this team is prepared to go out and play in a meaningful game. Granted, this isn't the Boston College spring game where 13 people show up to see the first team offense fail to scored a touchdown for 2 hours against the backups. However, there are way too many problems with this Rutgers team that include:
- QB play
- WRs gaining separation
- Depth on defense
- O-Line health
- Running Back snaps
- Kicking game
- Snapping the football
But that's OK
It is only Spring, and this team is just 15 practices into a completely new world for them. This team still has fall camp to improve along with a slew of 2016 recruits that will help improve with depth if nothing else. Only time can fix issues like the ones listed above and there is plenty of that before the Scarlet Knights square up against Washington on September 3rd.