2014 RUTGERS FOOTBALL PREVIEW
June 18, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
2014 Rutgers football preview
2013 Record: (6-7, 3-5)
Rutgers will be entering a new era in college football as they play in the Big Ten for the first time. The Rutgers football program can play with several teams in this conference but they are not quite ready to play with the teams in the upper echelon. The Scarlet Knights go into the 2014 season with question marks at the quarterback position Senior Chas Dodd was the starter late in the 2013 season but now two-year starter Gary Nova took over in the spring. Nova has good size at 6 foot 2, 220 pounds and has a better arm then Dodd. Rutgers has played depth at running back but there is a concern about Paul James and whether he can stay healthy in a much more physical Big Ten conference. James has suffered injuries in each of the last three years including a leg injury or year ago that forced him to miss four games. In 2013 James rushed for 881 yards and nine touchdowns. If James is unhealthy Rutgers will look to Justin Goodwin and Desmond Peoples to carry the load. The offense of line should be solid with all five starters returning from last year.
Rutgers’s defense could be a different story in 2014. They fired their defensive coordinator last year and promoted Joe Rossi to defensive coordinator. Only five starters return from last year’s defense including DT Darius Hamilton, LB Steve Longa and LB Kevin Snyder. Longa moved from the middle to weak side linebacker and Snyder went from weak side to middle linebacker. Cornerback Ian Thomas is back after quitting midway through last year and should be one of the starters going into the fall the secondary also features strong safety Lorenzo Waters and sophomore safety Deion Stephenson. Depth in the secondary is a concern.
There is plenty of optimism for Rutgers going into their first year of Big Ten play. Head coach Kyle Flood
is excited about their new adventure. The schedule will not be easy with home dates against Penn State Michigan and Wisconsin. The road schedule will be even topper as they played Ohio State Nebraska and Michigan State.
2013 Team Stats: