RUTGERS REWIND – W/E September 17, 2005The scrutiny of the sleep-walking continued into Rutgers' first bye week of the season. Rutgers, three touchdown favorites heading into their match-up with the Buffalo Bulls, had every statistical advantage conceivable and looked, on paper, the far superior team. However, the Bulls, undoubtedly up for this game while the Scarlet Knights were not, had other ideas. In the end superior talent did win out. "I've been on national champion teams, on really good teams - there's always a game or two you didn't play your best, but you played good enough to win," Schiano stated.
Though victorious in its two previous games, concerns remain. The big picture indicated that a total of 9 points had been allowed in the two previous games, only one touchdown. Delving into the numbers raised the red flag. Being pushed around by a 1-AA team to the tune of over 400 yards wasn't exactly a great indication of the team's success. But Coach Schiano continued to remain positive in the eye of public scrutiny. "This defense will continue to be a work in progress," said Schiano. "The long and short of it is we allowed nine points the past two weeks."
On Monday Matei published his interview with Tim Brown, the lightning quick athlete from Northwestern HS in Miami. Brown, whose 40-yard dash at the recent Rutgers camp was also presented, was up front about his recruitment in stating that he has two favorites at this point: his childhood favorite, the Miami Hurricanes and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The good news for Rutgers is that the U has yet to offer a football scholarship to the speedy prospect.
As the first bye week of the season continued Andrew Bone published his recent interview with Tight End Jeff Minemyer. Minemyer, the Pa. standout, whose team was off to a 3-0 start at the time of the publication, indicated that he will be visiting Rutgers when they host West Virginia. The tight end prospect indicated his Top 5 which had Rutgers planted firmly in it.
Later that day, Don "Big Dog" Forbes brought some more immediate news to the Rutgers on-line community by announcing that the Scarlet Knights had picked up another transfer: James Townsend, a high profile signee of the Iowa Hawkeyes a few years ago had decided to come back home.
Dan Welch published his preview, the fifth in a thorough seven part preseason tour of the Big East, of the Connecticut Huskies. Offensively, Connecticut lost six starters from an offense that was one of the more productive units in Division IA. Losses to an experienced offensive line and a talented group of WRs added to the losses in Storrs. On defense, Uconn lost four starters off their unit but only a single player off their two-deep defensive line.
In the first of its kind, trying to excite the Rutgers student fan base, Rutgers football made an appearance to Cook College, for a festive pep-rally where several hundreds showed up to show their support for their fellow Scarlet Knights. Many kudos to the RU administration for taking the initiative and attempting to drum up fan support in an otherwise apathetic student-body.
The week began to draw to a close as indications began to surface that Lance Thomas, one of the premier basketball prospects in the entire nation, trimmed his list to a mere five. Jeff Goodman of Scout.com had initially reported that Thomas' list would include Arizona, which he has already officially visited along with UConn, Duke, Florida and Rutgers (in no particular order).
This week's edition of RU Rewind would not be complete without a mention of Former Scarlet Knight Chelsea Newton, now of the Sacramento Monarchs, who helped her new pro squad in winning the franchise's first WNBA title. Sacramento defeated the Connecticut Sun 62-59 in Game 4 to win the best-of-five series 3-1. Newton, announced as one of five members of the 2005 WNBA All-Rookie Team, was a second-round selection of the Monarchs in the 2005 WNBA Draft. In addition, the budding star was one of two league rookies to start every regular-season game.