Despite starting out 2-0 this year, Rutgers has more questions than answers as it approaches their third game against North Carolina.
The Scarlet Knights had a tough time in their 19-14 victory over Florida International last Saturday. They got the victory, but was clearly struggling and out-performed throughout. The Panthers dominated in overall yardage (371 to 172), forced the Knights to turn the ball over three times and their offense converted just three for twelve on third downs.
There were some bright spots for them though. Safety Joe Lefeged had a career game on the defensive end for Rutgers. He had an interception, two fumble recoveries, and two blocked punts. He was named Big East defensive player/special teams player of the week. Mohamed Sanu contributed with both one passing and a 24-yard rushing touchdown that was the eventual game-winner seven minutes into the fourth. San Se Te also added two field goals from 42 and 43 yards, respectively.
Rutgers’s victory turned bittersweet when their starting running back Joe Martinek when down with an injury five minutes left in the game. It was initially thought to be a leg injury, but doctors revealed it to be an ankle injury. His status for this Saturday’s game against the ACC’s Tar Heels remains uncertain so to improve on their struggles on the offensive end, the team will possibly have to do it without their leading rusher.
Their strong point so far, their defense, will also be put to the test against UNC. The Heels, despite losing their first game (30-24 to LSU) have the nation’s best pass yardage (410 yards). Senior quarterback T.J. Yates will need to be contained by the Scarlet Knights in order to improve to 3-0.
About the Author
Written by Chris Ryan
Chris Ryan is a Staten Island, NY native who recently graduated SUNY-Cortland majoring in sport management. At Cortland, he was the sports editor of the student-run newspaper The Dragon Chronicle for both his junior and senior year. He interned for the sports producer and sports anchor Bruce Beck at WNBC-4 Sports in New York City for their 6:00 and 11:00 news programs. Also, he interned this summer for the New York Jets as a sports writer for their website during their training camp which was shown on HBO's Hard Knocks program. Assignments included writing feature stories that were included on both newyorkjets.com and the Jets Playbook given out to the fans at the game. Chris is a Yankees, Giants, Knicks and Rangers fan.