RUTGERS REWIND – W/E September 17, 2005
On Sunday, Big Dog shared some photos from the Villanova game, taken from the field during Rutgers 38-6 victory. Andre Bone also interviewed QB B.J. Phillips (6-5 and 225) from Spring Valley HS in Columbian, SC. Phillips has received offers from Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, and Vanderbilt. Rutgers has not yet offered Phillips, who is considering a visit to the Banks if offered.
On Monday, RS Sr DE Ryan Neill and Jr KOR Willie Foster were named Big East Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively. Neill recorded 4.5 TFLs and two sacks against Villanova. Foster returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a TD. Tom Atkins reported on the status of Injured RS So DE Eric Foster, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury against Villanova at the thinnest position on the Rutgers team. Tom also reported that Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano expected some offensive wrinkles from Buffalo, who offense was shutout in each of their first two games. Atkins also reported that RS Sr RG John Glass had been suspended for the Buffalo game and would be replaced in the lineup by RS Fr RG Mike Gilmartin.
On Tuesday, Matei reported that Rutgers had extended an offer to DE Andres Morales (6-2 and 245) from Liberty HS in Bethlehem, PA. Morales is considered a LB/DE ‘tweener. Rutgers is his only offer at this time.
On Wednesday, former Scarlet Knight P David Dunne (1990-1992) shared his Perspective on the Villanova Game. Dunne was pleased that Rutgers beat Villanova soundly, 38-6, as a Division I-AA opponent should be handled. However, Dunne was displeased with the defensive yardage allowed to the Wildcats (444 total yards). And with the inability of the defense to the offensive adjustments Villanova made at halftime. Matei interviewed DB Bryan Wright (5-11 and 165) from Miami-Northwestern HS in Miami, FL. Wright has received offers from Florida A&M, Delaware, Rutgers, and Temple.
On Thursday, Matei interviewd QB Chris Paul-Etienne (6-1 and 180) from Miami Edison HS in Miami, FL. Chris has received offers from Akron, Illinois, Minnesota, and Rutgers. Paul-Etienne attended the Rutgers camp at Miami Edison HS this past summer.
On Friday, Dan Welch published his preseason preview of the Buffalo Bulls. The article reflected a preseason analysis of lost starters, expected replacements, and incoming recruits. Dan predicted that the Bulls will finish 2-9 (2-6 MAC). The Bulls will be swept in their non-conference games against the Big East. FoxSports also shared its weekly Rutgers Team Report. FoxSports thought that Buffalo was made to order for Rutgers high-powered offense and struggling defense. Matei also took a look Inside the Numbers, a statistical comparison of the Scarlet Knights and Bulls. It spelled M-I-S-M-A-T-C-H.
On Saturday, Dan Welch shared his Keys to the Buffalo Game, looking at five team keys and five key individuals. Despite Rutgers history of overlooking any remotely inferior opponent, Dan expected this game to be be over early because Buffalo is not as good as is Villanova. This was a game for the future. Not the past. Dan's keys included (1) mental focus, (2) open field tackling, (3) playing the backups, (4) the rushing attack, and (5) staying healthy as the most important issues in the game. Key individuals included RS Fr QB Mike Teel, RS Jr DT Cameron Stephenson, RS Fr DT Carl Howard, RS Fr RG Gilmartin, and So PK Jeremy Ito.
Rutgers eeked out an ugly and uninspiring 17-3 win over hapless Buffalo. The Bulls nearly tripled their offensive output from the first two games (349 total yards versus 130 yards per game). As against Villanova, the Scarlet Knight defense bent but stiffened inside the red zone, allowing only one FG in four Bull incursions in the red zone (one blocked FGA and two 4th down stops). The Scarlet Knight offense was just as sluggish as QB Ryan Hart had his worst performance of the season in completing 13 of 27 for 143 yards and two TDs. Hart was inaccurate and again showed an inability to complete deep passes to open receivers. RS Jr TB Brian Leonard and RS Sr DE Ryan Neill were among the few Scarlet Knights who seemed interested in playing. Through three games, I have not seen the kind of performance that leads me to believe that Rutgers can win seven games. The Scarlet Knights simply have not shown the ability to stop opposing offenses and the Rutgers offense holds itself more in check than does the opposing defense. Rutgers has two weeks to rest and prepare for a Friday night ESPN2 game against Pittsburgh, who is off to an awful 0-3 to begin the Dave Wannstedt era.
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