Rutgers will hostthe Scarlet-White Game on Saturday at 3 p.m. at SHI stadium. Click here for more information. You can also catch up on all of our spring game coverage that includes press conferences for every position coach. Below are five things I’ll be watching for in this game.
What Does The New Offense Look Like
Okay, we know new offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca isn’t going to unload the entire playbook on Saturday. In fact, he’ll probably call mostly scoops of vanilla with perhaps some toppings here and there. But Rutgers fans aren’t asking for much either.
If we get to see some screen passes, dump offs to a speedy back with space, or quick passes to the slot receiver it’s a win. We want to see some semblance of a modern offense that puts its players in a position to make plays. And of course, how the quarterbacks perform is something every fan will be watching for.
Who Are The Playmakers?
We know Chris Long and Rashad Rochelle are very athletic and talented players. Can they show out on Saturday and make a statement that they’re ready to fill big roles in the fall?
Will Aaron Young and Isaiah Washington have been talked about in a positive light this spring. Can they have big performances to demonstrate they’re ready to be consistent contributors next season?
Will newcomers in the secondary like Flip Dixon, look comfortable?
Can Rutgers finally get consistent production from the tight end position?
Which less known player has a big game?
Is it asking too much for all of these to happen?
How Will The Specialists Perform?
Last year’s starter Jude McAtamney is competing against Jai Patel this spring. Both will get opportunities in this game. The heir apparent to the immortal Adam Korsak is Flynn Appleby. I’m not sure how many chances he will have to punt on Saturday, but hopefully he makes the most of it.
One big point is that the weather is supposed to be cold and rainy. Any positives in the kicking game on Saturday will be perceived to be even more so due to the difficult conditions expected.
Did any younger players standout?
There are a dozen early enrollees at spring camp. Does Ajani Sheppard show flashes of his potential on Saturday?
Will athlete Davoun Fuse make a case that he will be on the field next fall?
Can Kenny Fletcher, who showed flashes in spots last season as a true freshman, take the next step?
Do speed receivers Jesse Ofurie and Dylan Brathwaite produce in a way that they make a case for the two-deep in training camp?
Don’t forget about the dozen or so young offensive lineman who have joined the program over the last two years.
Are any developing fast enough to be able to help next season? It’s certainly exciting to think there are more than a handful of first and second year players who are developing in useful pieces for next season. Hopefully, the mistakes made in practice are minimal and the last game of spring serves as a showcase.
Who Will Be Spring Award Winners?
The last two Douglas A. Smith Award winners for most improved defensive player the past two seasons were the starting linebacker duo from last fall, Tyreem Powell and Deion Jennings.
The Mark Mills Second Effort Award given to the most improved offensive player was received by Hollin Pierce in 2021. He has become a staple on the offensive line.
Who is next on both sides of the ball? Hopefully we will all see the progress this team made as a clear improvement on Saturday. But whoever wins these awards that are held in high regard signals a positive for their future on the field for Rutgers.
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