Recapping Scrimmage #1

Prior to the Scarlet Knights' scrimmage, the Rutgers football team named the seniors in center Ryan Blaszczyk, linebacker Ryan D'Imperio and cornerback Devin McCourty as team captains. The captains were decided in a vote by the team Monday night.

"It's an honor, it really is," Ryan Blaszczyk said. "It's voted on by the team and it's just a dream come true."

All three team captains started all 12 games of last season. Ryan D'Imperio was second on the team with 93 tackle and 5.5 sacks. Both Blaszczyk and Devin McCourty started every game two years ago as well.

"They bring great leadership," D'Imperio said. "They're excellent people and they work really hard. That's who I would want as a leader if I had to pick."

All eyes during the scrimmage were focused on the play of the three quarterbacks competing for the starting job and all three quarterbacks showed glimpses of starting ability.

Senior Dom Natale, who started the day with the first team, completed just four of 11 passes on the day for 17 yards, but Schiano said that he thought the first team managed the ball well.

"I think we had a lot of things going on, on the field," Natale said. "We communicated well out there with the linemen and the running backs and the receivers and we were all on the same page."

Natale had one turnover on the day when he and running back Joe Martinek had a miscommunication of a handoff and the ball was fumbled.

Senior Jabu Lovelace struggled, completing five of 10 passes, getting sacked twice and getting picked twice. Lovelace did lead all quarterbacks with 98 passing yards, finding Julian Hayes three times. Hayes ended the day with a total of four catches for 102 yards.

Redshirt freshman D.C. Jefferson was the only quarterback to not turn the ball over, completing five of nine passes during the scrimmage for 92 yards.

Freshman quarterback Tom Savage was 6-for-12 for 73 yards during the scrimmage as he was intercepted by sophomore cornerback Al-Majid Hutchins.

Martinek looked the strongest in the running game, totaling 60 yards on just 10 touches.

"I thought Joe ran hard and I thought Jourdan [Brooks] ran decently too," Schiano said. Brooks finished with 22 yards on 12 rushes, but barely had space to move while working with the second team offensive line.

Freshman running back De'Antwan Williams scored the only touchdown during the regular scrimmage on a one-yard run.

"The running backs are great," said senior center Ryan Blaszczyk. "We knew we had great athletes at running back so we just gave them the holes and let them do their thing."

The linebacker play was strong defensively as the first and second teams wreaked havoc in both pass defense and pass rushing situations.

Backup middle linebacker Jim Dumont had two sacks on the day and senior Damaso Munoz continued to look strong on passing plays with an interception.

On the entire day, including goal line and redzone drills, the defense gave up just 17 points — the touchdown run by Williams, a redzone touchdown pass from Natale to Tim Brown and a 27-yard field goal by San San Te.

In other Big East news, Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone announced that former Duke point guard Greg Paulus will start at quarterback on Opening Day. Paulus has not played football since high school where he was a highly touted recruit in the Syracuse, N.Y. area. The Scarlet Knights will face off against Paulus and the Orange Nov. 21 at the Carrier Dome.


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