In 2008, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights rebounded from a very rough beginning to the season, to get on a roll, and win the PapaJohns.com bowl against NC State.
But in 2009, things certainly won't be the same for Rutgers. First, and most notably, they'll have to find a new Quarterback, with the departure of recently-graduated and Seattle Seahawk Mike Teel, who had an outstanding 2009 campaign.
This, coupled with the loss of star recievers Kenny Britt (Tennessee Titans) and Tiquan Underwood (Jacksonville Jaguars), Rutgers' passing game will certainly take a step back.
Who will lead that passing game, is still a major question facing Rutgers as they get ready to begin practice. Seniors Domenic Natale and Jabu Lovelace are believed to be the front runners for the job, although there has not been a clear-cut winner yet.
Either way, these two threw a combined 11 passes last season, so there is not too much game experience. Lovelace has mostly been used for his running ability, in certain situations. Also, Redshirt Freshmen D.C. Jefferson and Steve Shimko are also believed to be in the mix.
But, with an offensive line that returns all of its starters, expect Rutgers to have a lot of sucess running the ball in 2009. Who will be carrying the football? Well, ever since Ray Rice's departure, it's been a runningback by Comittee situation. The Three backs that will see the most carries in 2009, are the same that saw the most in 2008.
Kordell Young (Senior), Jourdan Brooks (Junior), and Joe Martinek (Sophomore) will recieve the bulk of the carries. Martinek led the group in yards per carry, which was impressive given that he was only a freshman last year.
Young led the team in Net yardage, with 554 yards, and Brooks led the team in touchdowns with 6. It's very weird to see three running backs, with each one leading in one of the big running categories.
All in all, Rutgers' offense may surprise some people in 2009 with a returning offensive line, and a very strong running game, which should take pressure off of the passing game. Potentially, the Scarlet Knights could give many Big East defenses fits in 2009.