The big question surrounding the Rutgers football program this season is how to replace running back Ray Rice, who rushed for 2,012 yards last season before heading off to the NFL.
Senior quarterback Mike Teel will have to be more consistent and the return of two 1,000 yard rushers in Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood will help.
There are some major strengths on this team though, especially on the defensive side of the ball, where eight starters will return.
Safety Courtney Greene could have gone pro, but will return for his senior season after tallying a team-high 101 tackles. With the McCourty twins on the corners, the nation’s fifth best pass defense from last season should only be better.
Here are my predictions for the 2008 Rutgers Scarlet Knights:
The Bulldogs want to play BCS buster this season, and to do that they have to beat BCS teams.
Prediction: Loss (28-27)
Butch Davis may have the Tar Heels football program moving in the right direction, but they are not quite there yet.
Prediction: Win (31-17)
The option attack offense is tricky, but Greg Schiano's defense will be well prepared for it.
Prediction: Win (34-24)
A warm-up before the start of Big East Conference play.
Prediction: Win (42-7)
10/04—at WEST VIRGINIA
There may be a new coach in Morgantown, but the Mountaineers are still stacked.
Prediction: Loss (34-24)
The rowdy Nippert Stadium crowd is the difference in this close game.
Prediction: Loss (27-24)
The Huskies won't sneak up on anybody this season and the Scarlet Knights will be ready for everything Tyler Lorenzen throws at them.
Prediction: Win (34-28)
Mike Teel will have to win this one for the Scarlet Knights. He will come up just short.
Prediction: Loss (23-20)
The Scarlet knights regroup and get an easy win.
Prediction: Win (38-14)
11/15—at SOUTH FLORIDA
The Rutgers offensive line will have to protect Mike Teel. If they do, he will throw the ball all over the Bulls' inexperienced secondary.
Prediction: Win (31-24)
Army is returning to the wishbone offense this year, but the Rutgers defense will have already seen this kind of offense this season and will be ready for it.
Prediction: Win (38-20)
The Rutgers secondary is the difference in this game.
Prediction: Win (28-20)
Final Record: 8-4.
This will be another respectable season for the Rutgers football program. With the Stadium expansion and upgrades, Greg Schiano will be able to pull in even more high-level recruits.
This program is moving in the right direction and as long as the Scarlet Knights can hold on to their coach, the sky is the limit.