Spring Season Done
The Scarlet defeated the White 10-7 as both defenses shone brightly and the offenses sputtered time and again. But for anyone that takes this message to heart, there should be but one thing you need to take from this: it doesn't matter.
This game was a show for the fans - an opportunity to meet up with the die-hards we hadn't seen since last fall; an opportunity to take the kids out to the Kids Zone and spend time with the family; an opportunity to break out the grill; and most importantly, an opportunity to sweep the dust off the old depth chart and start with the bevy of adjustments to make on your video game system's Rutgers team. But no, definitely not a game - just a show.
This game was without a doubt not about finding the true back-up to Ryan Hart. It is difficult to say exactly how, and if, either did anything that will help them toward their goal. Perhaps the only certainty at this point is that either Anthony Cali or Terrence Shawell will be number two by the time September 4th rolls around. Don't expect either to separate themselves until that time, and likely not a day sooner. When questioned about the back-up quarterback competition head coach Greg Schiano put it as plainly as he could: "They both did nice things [in spring practice], but there's no substitute for game experience - they're both young guys."
Of the few bright spots offensively, Justice Hairston and Clarence Pittman displayed the quality and depth of talent Rutgers enjoys in the backfield. Justice Hairston rushed 9 times for 85 yards and a score, while Clarence Pittman recorded a game high 87 yards on 23 carries including a 1-yard score. "Justice had some real nice runs'" said head coach Greg Schiano after the game, none too nicer than his 29-yard effort in the third quarter to even the score at 7 and 7.
For the first time in a long time there is healthy, quality competition at several key spots, none more visible than at the back-up quarterback position. "The more competition we have the more signs there are that we're moving towards a championship caliber team," said Anthony Cali when questioned about his current battle for the back-up spot to Ryan Hart. Healthy competition, and respect coupled with continually challenging one another is what this year's spring version of Rutgers football featured most. And what this breeds is precisely the type of atmosphere that pushes a team to the next level. "We've progressed so much more - we're more of a family than a team," said William Gilkison.
Chris Loomis on his thoughts about Rutgers' fans: "Thank you so much and we appreciate everyone's support."
William Gilkison on the improvements to the Hale Center: "It is unbelievable. Everything that coach [Jay] Butler has done with us and the equipment is just huge."
Anthony Cali on why his performance has improved this spring: "I'm finally having fun out there - I'm enjoying it."
Head Coach Greg Schiano spent a significant portion of his time with potential recruits for next year's class.
Play of the Game: Anthony Cali lofted a perfectly thrown pass with just enough under it to allow Willie Foster, running a fade route, to catch up to it for a 35-yard gain for the Scarlet team, with less than six minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Mike and the Big Dog's LLC