1. Big but fresh up front
The Scarlet Knights lost three offensive linemen from last season’s 9-4
team, including first-round NFL pick Anthony Davis Art Forst is an
NFL-caliber talent at right tackle and Howard Barbieri is experienced
at center. Both guards also have some significant snaps from last year,
but the line must open holes for the running backs as the passing game
is still a work in progress.
2. Ray Rice 2.0
He’s a true freshman, but Casey Turner might be the Scarlet Knights’ offensive catalyst this season.
While he will be held out of Thursday night’s game due to a leg
injury, Turner can be the dynamic running back that RU hasn’t had since
Ray Rice three years ago. Turner decommitted from North Carolina, and
the 5-foot-10 speedster has the potential to be a game-changer. Also
watch for Jordan Thomas, who has impressed this preseason.
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3. Getting defensive
Rutgers’ defense might end up as the best unit in the Big East.
Joe Lefeged is a hard hitter at safety, joined by a very
talented roamer in Khaseem Greene. Middle linebacker Steve Beauharnais
will call the plays for the defense, a tall task for a true sophomore.
Defensive tackle Scott Vallone had nine tackles for loss last season
and could potentially play on Sundays.