The buzz is in the air. College Football is back.
Week 0 gave fans a taste of what is coming ever Saturday until January. And during Week 1, Rutgers fans can enjoy their day and watch every game without the stress of worrying about their Scarlet Knights.
If you are excited about the 2023 season beginning, you are not the only one.
“Yeah, never been more focused than I am today. Never been more excited than I am today about this team,” head coach Greg Schiano said during his game week press conference on Tuesday. “We have had some great teams here, some good teams, and some not so good teams. Some good teams.”
Rutgers will open the season on Sunday afternoon during a standalone, nationally-televised game against Northwestern. The Scarlet Knights will enter as a favorite against a Big Ten team in a game that fans should be excited for.
“I love playing at home obviously,” Schiano said. “Love playing at SHI Stadium. Love our fans. I’m sure they will bring a huge home-field advantage this week. Can’t wait. Can’t wait to get back there with them. I’ve been here a long time, a lot of years. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. But we have some very loyal fans. And we’re going to provide what they are looking for.”
Rutgers will be showing off a new offensive scheme with Kirk Ciarrocca running the show. Gavin Wimsatt has been working at the starting quarterback and will have some new weapons on the outside, not to mention a loaded running back room.
If healthy, Samuel Brown V will provide a steady back while Aaron Young’s return gives the team a multi-faceted back. Jaquae Jackson and Naseim Brantley came over in the transfer portal to bolster the receiving core.
“JaQuae did a good job,” Schiano said. “Again he just started in the summer. It’s not like he’s been here for a while. He had to learn the playbook and how we condition and how we train and how we do everything. I think he’s really done a good job at that. I think his progress will continue throughout the year but he’s very talented, so we are grateful to have him.”
If the offense can score some points, Rutgers will be able to make vast improvements, especially with the defense it has in place. Opening against a Big Ten opponent adds a little extra juice to Week 1.
Schiano believes this team is on the right track and that is what fans are hoping for from this year as well. The first game of the season will be very telling for the Scarlet Knights.
“I love coaching this team and our staff and being back here at Rutgers, in New Jersey, my home state,” Schiano said. “I always tell players, don’t wish away time. Use every second that you have to prepare, prepare, and then prepare through the event. So I’m trying to abide by my own advice. But I’m really excited to get it started and to do it at home, as the only Big Ten game in the country, that’s fun.”