Rutgers-Maryland: The Scarlet Knights Can Shock the Shells with Five Steps

Josh RosenbergCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2009

Rutgers beat Howard 45-7 and played great offense and good defense.

Rutgers beat Florida International and held them to no points for the first 54 minutes. 

All 15 of Florida International's points were scored against Rutgers' second- and third-team defense.

This Saturday it will take a combination of the shutdown defense Rutgers showed against FIU and the dominant offense that put up 42 points against Howard in the first half alone to tackle the Terps.

Can Rutgers leave College Park with a win?

Rutgers will easily win if they follow these five easy steps.

1.  Run the Football

It has been proven that when Rutgers running backs run more than 30 times a game, the whole offense does well.

The Knights have two able running backs who both have proven they can carry the load.

Joe Martinek had 121 yards on 23 carries against Florida International, and Jourdan Brooks had 124 yards and three touchdowns on only 17 carries against Howard.

Brooks barely got to play against Florida International despite proving himself the week before and the entire season before.

If the Knights want to have success on offense, the running backs must get at least 15 carries each.

2.  Don't make Tom Savage do all the work

Time and time again Schiano has proven to be a bad offensive play caller.  Please explain to me why freshman QB Tom Savage passed 28 times in the first half alone when Martinek got 23 carries and Brooks got only five.

Savage dropped back so often it's not surprising that one of the times he got sacked and injured.

I understand Savage is just a freshman and needs to pass a lot to get experience but he doesn't need to shoulder the entire offense. 

Against Howard, Savage only passed 13 times, completing nine of those passes.  He still broke the 200-yard mark that game and Maryland's defense isn't that much better than Howard’s.

With Brooks and Martinek leading the way all Savage has to do is be a game manager and make good passes when needed, instead of all the time.

3.  A healthy Kordell Young is a great kick returner, not a featured running back

Another mistake Schiano has made was putting in Kordell Young too often last season.  Young is oft-injured and had little success as the featured back. 

His only 100-yard game was against Syracuse, which isn't that big of an accomplishment.  He also just recovered from his most recent injury.

Knowing Schiano, Young will most likely start and not do as well as Brooks or Martinek could, throwing off their entire offense. 

Since he is very fast, Young could go in towards the end of the game and play while the Terps defense is tired and won't be able to catch him.

But otherwise, playing Young when the other two running backs are available would be a waste.

4.  Play Dominant "D" to stop Maryland's Darrel Scott and pressure the quarterback

Rutgers defense showed it can play great defense against Florida International.  They recorded five sacks and finally played the swarming defense Rutgers is known for.  The question will be if the defense can stop Maryland's running back Darrel Scott.

So far this season Scott has run for 273 yards on 43 carries, averaging an impressive 6.4 yards a carry.

Stopping Scott and pressuring quarterback Chris Turner, who threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns vs. Middle Tennessee is key to stopping the Maryland offense.

5.  Don't Fear the Turtle, but don't let it bite you, either

Many fans say that this won't be a tough game for Rutgers. The Terps got demolished by California in the first game of the season, 52-13.  They needed an overtime period to beat James Madison, an FCS team, by a field goal.

And let's not forget about last week's 32-31 loss to lowly Middle Tennessee.

Despite all this there is still reason to fear the Turtle.

Maryland is coming off a stretch of frustrating and downright embarrassing games and will be hungry to get a win.  They are playing at home and are going to come into the game motivated to beat Rutgers and gain respect the little respect they can get.

There's such thing as upsets and Rutgers fans should know this very well.  In 2007 Maryland came to Rutgers stadium to play then-No. 10 Rutgers and beat them 34-24, handing the Scarlet Knights their first loss of that season.  If Coach Schiano and Rutgers aren't careful, this could happen again.

The Terps however, have a team to fear too.  This team is Rutgers.  

But to win, Rutgers has to stick with their game plan and not get overconfident.

Saturday's game:

Rutgers 35, Maryland 21


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