Location: New Brunswick, NJ
Former Scarlet Knights: Ray Lucas - Quarterback - New England Patriots (1996); New York Jets (1997-2000); Miami Dolphins (2001-2002); Baltimore Ravens (2003), Jay Bellamy - Safety - Seattle Seahawks (1994-2000); New Orleans Saints (2001-present), Bill Pellington - Linebacker - Baltimore Colts (1953-1964), Harry Swayne - Offensive Tackle - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1987-1990); San Diego Chargers (1991-1996); Denver Broncos (1997-1998); Baltimore Ravens (1999-2000); Miami Dolphins (2001), Ray Rice - Running Back - Baltimore Ravens (2008-present), (non-football) Kristin Davis - Class of 1987 - Actress (Sex and the City), Calista Flockhart - Class of 1988 - Actress (Brothers & Sisters), James Gandolfini - Class of 1983 - Actor (The Sopranos)
Fast Fact: On November 6, 1869, Rutgers hosted Princeton in the first ever football game between two collegiate institutions.
Head Coach Greg Schiano is entering his eighth season and has resurrected a program that had been a laughing stock of college football. Before he arrived, Rutgers has played in one bowl game in its 131 seasons. Schiano has led the Scarlet Knights to back to back bowl victories. In 2006, Schiano was named National Coach of the Year and BIG EAST Coach of the Year. That season, Rutgers finished 11-2 and defeated Kansas State in the Texas Bowl, for the first bowl victory in school history. Schiano has had stints at Penn State (1991-1996) and University of Miami 1999-2000), sandwiched around three season as an assistant in the NFL (1996 - 1998 with the Chicago Bears). As defensive coordinator for the Hurricanes, Schiano made a name for himself, leading a defense that in 1999 did not allow a touchdown pass in 27 consecutive quarters and only allowed an average of 15.5 points per game in 2000. The Scarlet Knights have a relatively new staff with 7 coaches entering their first year with the program. Only Joe Susan remains from Schiano's original staff.
Mike Teel (#14) enters his third year as the starting quarterback for the Scarlet Knights. Teel (6-4, 220lb, Sr.) set a Rutgers record with 20 touchdown passes in 2007. Unfortunately, he has not picked up where he left off. Through two games this season, Teel is 45 of 79 passing for 506 yards with 1 touchdown and 5 interceptions. He currently is ranked in the top five in Rutgers history in attempts, completions, passing yards and touchdowns. Last season, Teel led an offense that averaged a school record 32.8 points per game. This season Rutgers is averaging 9.5 points per game.
Losing all-time leading rushing Ray Rice to the NFL may be the main reason for the early decline in the offense. Rice left Rutgers with 4,926 career rushing yards. Kordell Young (#8) and Mason Robinson (#24) entered the season with 398 career yards. Young (5-9, 185lb, R-So.) opened the season as the starter. Against Fresno State he recorded 94 yards on 26 carries. This was his first appearance since suffering a knee injury September 15, 2007. Young sat out the North Carolina game with soreness in his surgically repaired knee. He is expected to play this week in Annapolis. Robinson (5-10, 190lb, So.) started against North Carolina and recorded 82 yards on 16 carries and 5 receptions for 32 yards. Jourdan Brooks (#39) saw his first collegiate playing time last week. Brooks (6-1, 245lb, R-Fr.), who had 7 carries for 42 yards is expected to see greater action this week especially if Young's knee does not improve.
Rutgers may have the best wide receiver tandem in the BIG EAST, if not the country. Kenny Britt (#88) and Tiquan Underwood (#7) have futures playing on Sundays. Britt (6-4, 215lb, Jr.) had 1,232 receiving yards in 2007. Against North Carolina, he recorded 8 catches for 109 yards. Underwood (6-2, 185lb, Sr.) has 10 receptions for 107 yards on the season. He has a team high 11 career touchdown catches. Though undersized, Tim Brown (#2) has 36 career receptions and 5 career touchdowns. Brown (5-8, 165lb Jr.) has 4 catches for 39 yards on the season. Rutgers also has weapons at tight end. Kevin Brock (#89) is the team's third leading receiver with 7 catches for 91 yards and the team's lone touchdown reception. Brock (6-5, 255lb, 5th-Sr.) has the size/speed combination that could poise problems for the Navy secondary.
Anthony Davis (#75) is the only sophomore named to the Preseason Watch List for the Outland Trophy. The Outland Trophy is presented annually to the top interior lineman in the nation. Davis (6-6, 325lb, So.) played in all 13 games his true freshman season, starting the final 8 at right guard. This season he takes over at left tackle. Ryan Blaszczyk (#61) started all 13 games last season at center. Blaszczyk (6-4, 295lb, R-Jr.,) was named to the Rimington Trophy Preseason Watch List, recognizing the nation's top center. Blaszczyk is flanked by a player with moderate experience and one with none. Left guard Kevin Haslam (#78) played in 4 games as a red shirt freshman in 2006 and all 13 in 2007. Haslam (6-7, 295lb, R-Jr.) has 8 career starts, including both games this season. Including both games this season, right guard Caleb Ruch (#60) has played in 2 college games. Ruch (6-4, 285lb, R-Fr.) was rated as the 32nd guard in the country by Scout.com when coming out of high school in 2007. Starting at right tackle is Mike Gilmartin (#70). Gilmartin (6-5, 290lb, 5th-Sr.) has played mostly on special teams during his time in New Brunswick. He will be making 4th career start against the Midshipman.
With Gary Watts suffering a season-ending knee injury, the Scarlet Knights are left thinner along the defensive line. Jamaal Westerman (#90) will now be called upon to take more snaps throughout the season. Westerman (6-3, 265lb, 5th-Sr.) led the team with 8 sacks in 2007. This season he is leading the team with 1.5 sacks. George Johnson (#31) starts at the other defensive end. Johnson (6-4, 260lb, Jr.) finished 2007 with 32 tackles, 6.5 for loss and four sacks. He currently has 3 tackles on the season. Starting at one tackle spot is one of the hardest workers in the program. Pete Tverdov (#97) has twice won the Frank R. Burns Award, which is given annually to the player who best displays extraordinary mental and physical toughness during Rutgers spring practice. Tverdov (6-4, 270lb, Sr.) leads the team with 3.5 tackles for loss. Alex Silvestro (#45) played in 11 games as a true freshman. Silvestro (6-4, 250lb, So.) has 4 tackles on the young season.
Middle linebacker Ryan D'Imperio (#44) leads the team with 21 tackles through 2 games. D'Imperio (6-3, 240lb, Jr.) only recorded 16 tackles in his first two years at Rutgers. Second on the team with 20 tackles is outside linebacker Kevin Malast (#34). Malast (6-2, 235lb, Sr.) started all 13 games in 2007 and finished second on the team with 92 tackles. Manny Abreu (#51) had a promising freshman campaign cut short with an injury in second game last season. Abreu (6-3, 245lb, R-Fr.) gets that year of eligibility back due to a medical red shirt. He has 12 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss on the season.
It seams as though Courtney Greene (#36) has been at Rutgers forever. Greene (6-2, 215lb, Sr.), finally a senior, has already had a distinguished career for the Scarlet Knights. In 2005, he was named Freshman All-American by Rivals.com, Sporting News, CollegeFootballNews.com and the Football Writers Association of America. In 2006 after recording 82 tackles and 4 interceptions he was named second team All-BIG EAST. Greene repeated that honor with a 101 tackle season in 2007. In his 4th year starting at free safety he has 15 tackles and 2 pass breakups on the season. He was named to the Preseason Watch List for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Lott Trophy, honoring the nation's top defensive player and the top impact defensive player, respectively. Joe Lefeged (#26) starts at the other safety spot. Lefeged (6-1, 200lb, So.) played in 12 games as a true freshman. He has 13 tackles in two games this season. Rutgers starting corners have a lot of experience together. That is because they are twins. Jason McCourty (#25) and Devin McCourty (#21) have literally been playing together since birth. Jason (5-11, 190lb, Sr.) played in 9 games as a true freshman, while his brother Devin (5-11, 185lb, R-Jr.) red shirted. Jason has started for three years, while Devin enters his second year as a starter. Jason has yet to record an interception, while Devin has four. On the season, Jason has 9 tackles while Devin has 6.
San San Te (#1) replaces the often maligned Jeremy Ito, who graduated. Te (5-9, 180lb, R-Fr.), who red shirted last season after being ranked as the No. 5 place-kicking prospect in the nation by Scout.com, missed his first two kicks of the season against Fresno State. He rebounded by making attempts of 34 and 32 yards against North Carolina.
Rutgers is also breaking in a new punter. Teddy Dellaganna (#93) served as the back-up last season, but did not play. Dellaganna (6-2, 210lb, R-So.) has 10 punts on the season with an average of 36.7 yards per kick. He has one touchback and three punts downed inside the opponents 20.
Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood serves as the primary kick returner and has 134 return yards on the season. Running back Mason Robinson also handles kickoffs and is the primary punt returner. Reserve wide receiver Dennis Campbell (#5) (5-9, 180lb, R-Jr.) will also return punts. Cornerback Devin McCourty has three career blocked kicks. All three blocks have lead to Scarlet Knight touchdowns.
Meet the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers
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