On Ryan Hart:
I am also a Ryan Hart fan and agree on going with him all the way. However, there is a third thing that Hart can't do; scramble or be a threat to run. A quarterback who can run tends to keep a defense off balance.
Most of the college football world still does not acknowledge RU's bona fide improvement or respect the program. This bothers me, but winning will change that. If RU keeps improving, they will become the darling of the media. I already see signs, e.g., a Schiano post game interview clip was aired on the Channel 7 11 PM news on Saturday in addition to some game video and positive commentary.
More on Ryan:
Mike-- as always your comments are right on the money. It's a good feeling to finally have Rutgers beat up Syracuse convincingly. Leonard is the real deal. Hart is quietly efficient and effective but still throws too many ill-timed interceptions. Even though he broke the school record for passing yardage I don't see him yet as a better all around quarterback than Scott Erney..
On Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
I haven't written to you in quite a long time. Your article prompted me to write you this note. I enjoyed your article very much and wanted to provide you with my humble perspective on the season.
Yesterday - I was expecting 4 wins this year and for Rutgers to be competitive in the other games. Clearly my expectations
were exceeded and during the course of the year, the flickering glimmer of a post season game was extinguished by
two heart breaking losses.
Today - The days of Rutgers losing 62 to 0 to Notre Dame, 80 to 7 at West Virginia are over. After reading all the positive press
and reflecting on the progress and improvements in the program, I see a vision of a giant-like Scarlet Knight sitting in a bed
after a long sleep contemplating on standing up.
Tomorrow- I really believe that Rutgers can capture the imagination of NJ as well as the nation next year. Americans love an
underdog and the Big East will be wide open. I can't wait to see finishing touches on an already outstanding recruiting
class. I see all the factors that have been talked about for so many years coming together. Aligning like stars to create
a bright shining star. My vision of tomorrow is that the giant-like Scarlet Knight stands up and straddles the state of
New Jersey and raises his sword to announce the new football power in the East.
And more on the same:
I don't disagree with any thing you said in the article but, let's add a few things...
Don't be surprised to see Walt Harris at Nebraska next year...had Pitt beaten UM, it would've been a lock.
If PP can beat ND he will probably survive one more year in Syracuse. But only a top 20 (8-3 + bowl win) year will save him after that.
Don't be surprised to see young Jack Bicknell fill a D-1 job in the northeast soon, perhaps SU.
Let's start the ball rolling now for Leonard as a serious Heismann candidate in his junior year. If he keeps going next year like he did this year and that won't be wishful thinking.
Ryan Hart needs to work to cut his ints. in half next year. Just train himself to throw it away rather than force it. Other than that, he is probably perfect for this offense. Quite possibly he'll be the top QB in the BE next year.
What do we do w/a great athlete like Chris Baker? Is there a place in the starting line-up for him?
While the players are in the weight room this winter the coaches need to be in the brain room. Though next year's schedule is "softer" we can't afford to give away anything because of sideline decision failures. (Perhaps we can get GS a "bench coach", as they use in baseball? I'd love to see Don Zimmer on the RU sideline!)
Besides concerns about the O line, we need to tighten-up special teams. Four blocked punts in the last two games...repetitive poor tackling...weak field goals beyond the 35...questionable play calls all season.
We're losing two starting seniors in the D backfield...are their replacements at least as good as those leaving?
It's critical we start now to build fan enthusiasm for next next. In the early home games we need to consistently put 35,000+ in the stands--the upper decks need to be close to filled. Pull out all the stops to increase season ticket sales and be very creative (i.e. generous) with discount tickets to h.s. students and game day tickets. If the success of the BE depends on Rutgers success, than we have to get more--if not all--night home games--plus get RU on TV somewhere every weekend --existing contracts be damned.
On Joe Radigan:
You can't fault the punter when the snap from center consistently requires that he jump up to catch it and then come down and take his steps. That may be what Miami saw and took advantage of in the third quarter. A team with Miami's speed only needs that extra second or two and the punter is cold meat. As an Alumni's father and Rutgers fan living in Florida this was the only game I saw this year and was impressed by the overall improvement from what I saw in prior years.
On Rutgers restructuring:
It's almost comical to be watching a scenario where we start out with three colleges and end up with three colleges at a cost exceeding a billion or two so that we can get medical grants in the low millions. What am I missing here?
A late note on the BC game
I attended the Boston College game Saturday. I have lived In West Lafayette, In. the past several years and just last month relocated to the Myrtle Beach area. I say this only to explain why I have not been able to attend any games for a couple years. I must concur with the lady from Dallas that there is a huge positive difference in the current team, regarding athleticism, size and strength, etc.
I felt as disappointed as all the fans in the outcome. As I walked away from the stadium with my brother I asked him what was worse...a heartwrenching late loss of a game we should have won, or the recent year 'blowouts'. At that moment it seemed like saturdays loss was worse. But as I had time to think about where the program was, I decided I guess I could handle the pain of this one now...since we are so much better. As long as the team (coaches included) soon learns 'how to win'!
A final thought on the fans. I felt so sorry for the fans after the game. If I lived closer I would be one of them...there every week through this still disappointing time. There was much energy throughout the game and smiles at half time. Many were angered as it slipped away. But after it was over, I saw mostly sadness. It seemed like the kind of sadness that only a true Rutgers fan knows. I want the team to succeed soon for those fans. They deserve it!!!
Mike Fasano: MikeFasano@comcast.net
Mike and the Big Dog's LLC