Here is a quick preview of what the Scarlet Knights will look like this season, plus my prediction on where they finish the year in the Big East. At tight end sophomore DC Jefferson returns, and figures to make a much bigger impact in his second season as a starter.
The Scarlet Knights figure to be strong up front on the defensive side of the ball, as they return three of four starters to a defense that allowed just 103 yards per game on the ground.
The Scarlet Knights also bring back one of the top running backs in the Big East in junior Joe Martinek, who ran for a team best 967 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore. Look for sophomore De’Antwan Williams to be more of a factor this season, after rushing for 235 yards and one score as a true freshman.
Ncaa Basketball Predictions 2011
Prediction – 4th Big East: The Knights have the chance to be the surprise team in the Big East this season, but a lot will depend on the production they get out of the offensive line and the newcomers on the defensive side of the ball. The Scarlet Knights will return just 12 starters for the 2010 season, but with another relatively easy non-conference schedule I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Knights finish with a winning record again in 2010. Sophomore Steve Beauharnais looks to have the early edge in the middle, while junior Manny Abreu figures to step at the open weak-side linebacker spot.
After finishing 9-4 in 2009, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights enter 2010 off five straight winning seasons. Sophomore Khaseem Greene is projected to take over at the vacated free safety spot.
At wide receiver the Scarlet Knights will have to replace Tim Brown, who had a monster senior season with 1,150 yards and nine touchdowns. Ncaa Basketball Predictions 2011
The Scarlet Knights lost one of the top corners in the country in Devin McCourty, and there is no question they will struggle to replace his production. Junior Eric LeGrand and sophomore Scott Vallone return at the two starting defensive tackle spots, and they also get back two talented players on the outside in senior defensive ends Jonathan Freeny and Alex Silvestro.
Quarterback Tom Savage made the 2009 Freshmen All- American team after throwing for 2,211 yards with a solid 14-7 touchdown to interception ratio. The Knights do bring back one of the top left tackles in the conference in junior Art Frost, but there are plenty of holes that need to be filled before the season gets underway. Ncaa Basketball Predictions 2011
There is no question that the Scarlet Knights are loaded with young talent at the skill positions, but none of that will really matter if the offensive line doesn’t produce. It looks like red-shirt freshman Darrell Givens will get the first crack at replacing McCourty, as he is projected to step in and start opposite of junior David Rowe. Savage has already earned a spot atop the top quarterbacks in the Big East, and you have to believe he is only going to put up better numbers in his second season.
At linebacker the Scarlet Knights will have to find a new starter at both middle linebacker and on the strong side, as the only returning starter to this unit is senior weak-side linebacker Antonio Lowery. The Scarlet Knights will send two new young players into the starting lineup this season, in red-shirt freshman Brandon Coleman and sophomore Tim Wright. We will find out just how good this kid is in 2010, as the Scarlet Knights have to reload up front on the offensive line. The Knights do have road games against four of the top teams in the Big East, as they must travel to take on Pitt, USF, Cincinnati, and West Virginia. The front runner to step in and have a big season for the Scarlet Knights on the outside is sophomore Mohamed Sanu, who finished up 2009 with 51 catches for 639 yards and three touchdowns. The Knights bring back starting strong safety Joe Lefeged, and he figures to be one of the top safeties in all of the Big East this season. Despite the strong finish in 2009 the Knights were just 3-4 in conference play, a big disappointment for a team that was picked by a lot of experts to win the Big East last season. Ncaa Basketball Predictions 2011
Defense:. Sanu was also a big factor in the running game, with 348 yards and five more touchdowns. The rest of the Big East teams better beat the Knights while they can, as this team is primed to be one of the top teams in the conference in 2011 and 2012 with so many young playmakers on the offensive side of the ball