The players were able to go through practice in shorts as the Scarlet Knights prepare for Maryland (2-2) this Saturday. Last week's practices were described by players as a training camp atmosphere. The players are now ready to get back on the field and continue the push.
Currently, Rutgers is ranked 10th in the Associated Press poll and a game
against Maryland, a BCS conference opponent, is important to keep the
momentum in voters mind. But, the players look at Maryland like any other
"The fact that it's the first BCS conference opponent doesn't matter,"
Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel said. "It's college football, there are
going to be good teams. Maryland is a very good team. Defensively, they
are very good upfront, with two good guys on the inside of the defensive
line. A linebacker that is as good as anyone and a very physical
Teel will have to be smart in using his weapons against Maryland. Scarlet
Knight receiver Tiquan Underwood and sophomore Kenny Britt rank fourth and
21st in the nation in receiving yards per game respectively. As a combo,
the two receivers average 260 yards per game.
The tight end position has been a question all through training camp and
none of the players involved in the battle have provided a real answer.
"It is improving every week, which it has to," Rutgers Head Coach said.
"So at least we are moving in the right direction."
Players on the Mend
The bye week has allowed certain players to heal and get back on the
field. Linebacker Ryan D'Imperio saw some limited playing time at the end
of the Norfolk State game, but he is now in a position where he is under
consideration to see more significant playing time.
However, the most important player that is back is defensive tackle Peter Tverdov who has not played a down of football all season. Tverdov is
expected is start this weekend against Maryland. Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano said that Tverdov was the starter all spring and he will go back
to his spot on the depth chart.
"It has been a gradual return," Coach Schiano said. "The bye week helped
(Tverdov) edge his way in there as far as feeling comfortable. He went
full bore this week and he was the starter when he went down."
The Scarlet Knight defense has only allowed nine points a game so far this
season and will look to exploit a weak passing game by Maryland.
Terrapin's quarterback Jordan Steffy has been sacked 15 times on the
season. Rutgers will look to add to the seven that they have racked up on
the season. Overall, Maryland ranks 108th out of 119 schools in passing
yards per game and 98th in total offense with 321 yards per game.
The biggest strength for Maryland will be rushing the ball. The Terrapins
have a significant weight advantage on the offensive line and will likely
try to exploit this match up. Maryland's offensive line features five men
that all weigh over 300 pounds with left guard Jaimie Thomas being the
biggest guy at 6-4 and 339 pounds.
Coach Schiano understands that his defensive line is smaller but does not
worry about the weight difference between Maryland's offensive and
Rutgers' defensive line.
"That is pretty much every week," Coach Schiano said. "I don't know if it
is 60 (pounds) every week, but it is 40 or 50. So when you start getting
up in the half a hundreds, I don't know if it matters that much."
The players on the defensive line for Rutgers are ready for the uphill
battle that they will face on the field against Maryland.
"We are getting ourselves ready for an all out battle, but we see that
everyday," defensive tackle Eric Foster said. "We have Mike Fladell,
Jeremy Zuttah, Pedro Sosa, we see the best everyday."
Practice Heating Up
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