Rutgers Football: What to Watch for in the Spring Game

Jayson LoveCorrespondent IApril 28, 2012

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 30:  (L-R) Jamil Merrell #92 and Jamal Merrell #37 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights celebrate a win over the Iowa State Cyclones in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on December 30, 2011 in the Bronx Borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Rutgers football holds its annual spring game today at High Point Solutions Stadium at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The game is significant because it is the first for new head coach Kyle Flood.

Scarlet Knights fans will also see the debut of Dave Brock as offensive coordinator and Robb Smith's debut as defensive coordinator.

Brock is in his first season at Rutgers, and in his 20-year career of coaching, this will be his first full season coordinating an offense.

Brock was the interim OC at Boston College last season, leading an offense that seemed to improve toward the end of the season, putting up 24 points in a win against U. of Miami (FL).

In his career, Brock had the most success coaching wide receivers such as Jordy Nelson at Kansas State and Hakeem Nicks at UNC.

Will RU's offense be more pass-happy in 2012?  This will be the first opportunity for Knights fans to view what this offense may be like in 2012.

Smith will provide some stability on the defensive coaching front.

His former title was special teams coach.

Rutgers' defense under Greg Schiano was an aggressive, swarming-type defense and it will be interesting to see if that is maintained under Smith.

Although, the spring game may not be the best barometer as a blitzing attack isn't likely to be unleashed against teammates in a glorified scrimmage.

A major thing for Knights fans to watch today is quarterback play.

The old adage, "if you have two quarterbacks you don't have any," rings true on The Banks as of now.

Chas Dodd and Gary Nova have shown glimpses, but one needs to take the reigns in order for this team to win at a high level in 2012.

Or, will a third quarterback enter this mix like Mike Bimonte who is currently on the roster, or Blake Rankin, who will join the roster this fall?

Finally, it remains to be seen how disciplined this team will be under new head coach Kyle Flood.

With real referees watching the action on Saturday, will the Knights take many penalties?  False starts and offsides penalties are a great way to judge how much control a head coach has over a team because they are a demonstration of discipline and how much a team understands a coach's demands upon his team. 

One hopes that Flood isn't in over his head as a first-year head coach.