PISCATAWAY, NJ - APRIL 29: Quarterback Gavin Wimsatt #2 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights attempts a pass during their Scarlet-White Spring football game at SHI Stadium on April 29, 2023 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The Scarlet Knights will start the 2023 season hosting Northwestern at SHI stadium. This is the first time they will open with a home game against a Big Ten opponent. Schiano is good when it comes to season openers, he has a 10-4 record and has won the last three openers.  

This is the last season the Big Ten will look normal because starting next season it all changes. This will be Rutgers’ best chance to win six games and go bowling.  

The offense should have one goal this season and one goal only, score more points. Last season they averaged 17.4 points per game. If you take out the Wagner win where they put up 66 points, they only averaged 13 points per game. A bright spot in the offense this season will be the run game. They have a solid rotation of backs like Kyle Monangai and Samuel Brown V and a veteran offensive line that can lead the way.  

The biggest problem for this offense is finding a quarterback. Last season they started off with Evan Simon, who was decent at best. By the middle of the season, they turned to Gavin Wimsatt. It was tough sledding for Wimsatt, he was sacked a lot, and his throws were off. With Kirk Ciarrocca as the new offensive coordinator, the biggest things to watch for with him are accuracy and decision-making. He is getting some help with wide receiver transfer Naseim Brantley coming in from Western Illinois. Last season he had 53 catches, 903 yards, and nine touchdowns. Getting the run game to work will be crucial for the passing game.  

The defense overall should be better now that linebacker Mohamed Toure is back from his ACL tear. The secondary comes back strong with Max Melton and Robert Longerbeam back there. With Northwestern losing their best lineman to the NFL the Scarlet Knights should be able to control the line of scrimmage. Northwestern has yet to name a starter at quarterback as well.  

A lot of things happened over the offseason for Northwestern, so I expect them to come out with something to prove. The Scarlet Knights should attack first to put all the pressure on Northwestern.  

Rutgers will be the only team in action early Sunday afternoon.  Remember we will have live coverage of all the action beginning with FOOOCH, Anthony Fucilli and JP, Julian Pinnix-Odrick with Rutgers Tailgate at 9:30 a.m., followed by Dom Savino’s Rutgers Game Day at 10:30 only on Fox Sports New Jersey. 

Rutgers Fan Fest 8.20.23

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