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Sam Brown can bring balance to Rutgers football



Oct 1, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Samuel Brown V (27) dodges a tackle attempt by Ohio State Buckeyes safety Kye Stokes (37) during the second quarter of the NCAA Division I football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Scheller-The Columbus Dispatch

Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano announced at Big Ten Media Days on Wednesday that running back Sam Brown is healthy and will be a full participant when training camp begins on August 3. As important as it was that Schiano named Gavin Wimsatt the starting quarterback on Wednesday, this news was even bigger in my opinion.

Sam Brown made the Rutgers offense better before suffering a season ending injury last season. Once he was out, the offense sputtered. Entering this season with new offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, Sam Brown figures to be featured heavily this fall.

With a consistent run game, pressure will be taken off of every other group. Gavin Wimsatt can focus on game management, efficiency and accuracy. He won’t have to win games with his arm. He does have to make plays, of course, but within the flow of the offense established by the run. The offensive line won’t have to be elite for Brown to be effective, only competent. The unproven wide receiving core will be put in short to mid-range passing situations more often than not.

One past issue is that the defense tends to get worn down year after year in November after being on the field far too much. If Rutgers can run with Sam Brown, they can sustain drives more often. It will help keep the defense fresher. On special teams, even in punting situations, Brown can improve field position and help limit Flynn Appleby from having to punt deep in his own territory.

In my opinion, Sam Brown has the potential to bring balance to the entire team this season.

Listen and watch to this episode of The Scarlet Faithful podcast below where I discuss his importance for Rutgers this fall.



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  1. thevinman

    July 28, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    Great news that Sam is healthy. I sure hope 1 or 2 other RBs take a step up. If Young is healthy he will likely be #2. Monangai and Salaam looked like they had some talent so he might be valuable backups. One think likely under Ciarocca is that the RBs will have more responsibility in catching balls out of the backfield.

  2. pj43

    July 28, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    Assuming the RBs stay healthy, I think it’s a solid group.  I expect the OC will lean to being more heavily run oriented.  The OL has the size to move the ball on the ground IF they have made the progress as a unit that I anticipate.  Wimsatt is an RPO QB who should be most effective in the short/intermediate passing game when the running game is at least respectable.  I continue to think that this team is on the cusp of taking the next big step forward.  The first 3 games will tell me if I’m being overly optimistic.  The defense should be able to dominate those early games sufficiently so that any offensive improvement will be enough to give Rutgers enough for the win.

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