Thursday, September 10, 2009


It's hard to believe following Monday's shellacking that we're here: a mere two days away from a date with the FCS Bison of Howard University. Here are a few things we can look for: Howard: Fresh off of a 1-10 season and the loss of "nearly 20 players following and in-house compliance issue" (Phil Steele's words), the Bison are clearly in a rebuilding mode and are picked (by Phil Steele) to finish last in the MEAC in '09. Saturday's match up also represents their season opener.

Savage: The next two games offer a tremendous opportunity for # 7 to build on his solid performance against the Bearcats. He doesn't need to jump in there and play at an all Big East level. He just needs to get a little bit better each game, build confidence in himself, build some confidence in his line, manage the offense, minimize mistakes and let the immense talent that he is surrounded by just make some plays. Once he's got his confidence, then we can all start talking about how to use his immense talents to help this team.

Defense: I read that the Cincinnati beat writers were saying in the press box on Monday that Tony Pike should now be a dark horse candidate for the Heisman. Why shouldn't he be? Would it be too much to ask for this defense to put up the same kind of performance they did last year against Morgan State in their 38-0 win? I don't care about numbers. I just want to see a convincing, fundamentally sound performance that somehow persuades all of us that some other defense showed up on Monday and that the 2009 Rutgers defense started playing its season on Saturday.

Coaching: This week we need to take a step back, take a deep breathe and reset this team. These kids need to look like they are prepared to play every game no matter who the opponent is. The first step was announcing a starter, the next step is getting everyone in the right frame of mind to play. We can't be a step behind, we can't miss tackles and we need to execute. All of the things we didn't do against Cincinnati need to be corrected starting Saturday.


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