Losing Carter early was the first dagger. With the season lost, Sitkowski probably did the right thing in redshirting and preserving the opportunity to help build with a new coach. But, it exposed Rutgers lack of depth. Langan is not a starting Big Ten QB. They needed to be more creative here. Why not give former QB Jonathan Lewis a shot - he is a much tougher QB to bring down under a weak O-Line. Why not mix things up more with a rotation? They had nothing to lose and failed miserably.
With Blackshear sitting out, Rutgers lone bright spot on offense was Pacheco. He showed he can be a playmaker, but he needs help - an O-Line, better passing game to open it up. Young also showed some flashes, but losing Blackshear just made Rutgers so one-dimensional and too easy for defenses to stop.
Protection & Blocking
You are on your 3rd string QB, lose your top rusher, have limited receiving threats. They just needed more from the O-Line - period.
Probably the worst part of the offense was the receiving corps. They were inconsistent, very vanilla, and overall a liability for the team. Melton was supposed to be their BIG recruit and has been anything but a star. There was no one else! We knew the TE position was going to struggle, but they were non-existent this season
Big Play Ability
Red Zone Success
Skills Analysis Notes
Not much to salvage from this train-wreck of a season.
The D-Line is just swallowed up by bigger Big Ten O-Lines
They were very young and overmatched.
Passing Game Defense
Stopping the Run
Controlling Field Position
Stopping The Big Play
Special Teams and Coaching
Overall Unit Analysis
The punter was the team MVP! That's how bad it was everywhere else. Korsak, to his credit, was great - he got a lot of work, was consistent throughout the year, and was as effective in placing the ball as best as possible. Kicking in general was not an issue for this team.
Overall Coaching / School Analysis
Ash was given a chance this season and he was going downhill fast. They had a good win over UMass to start the season which hyped expectations, but they quickly got smacked with reality - the cupboards were bare, the team was undisciplined, and there were just not enough talent and depth to compete in the Big Ten. That said, they were just not competitive in most of the games. Campanile was not much better. He hitched his wagon to Langan and Langan was just not ready for it. Campanile needed to be more creative and instead just packed it in.
Overall Team Grade
The expectations for Rutgers were not high this season. However, they even underperformed those low expectations. There is not much that can be salvaged here. Pacheco had some flashes, so if he and Blackshear are back next year, Rutgers has a nice combo in the backfield. Korsak was excellent which gave Rutgers good field position for their defense - yet, much of that was wasted with defensive breakdowns in key spots.
Did the team's performance meet your expectations?
Slightly Under-performed Expectations
2020 can be a better year. The schedule includes FCS Monmouth, another struggling team in Syracuse, and a mediocre Temple team. They will also have Illinois, Maryland, Indiana, Nebraska and Purdue on their schedule. So, that should give them more winnable games is a new coach can put it together. But, Rutgers cannot miss on their next coach - they are at risk of making themselves completely irrelevant. Going through two failed coaches now, a third would be a dagger. Getting to a .500 record in 2-3 years is their biggest mission.
They need QB Sitkowski and RB Blackshear to stay. If so, they have some building blocks to work with. If not, Pacheco is an island in the backfield and there is no proven QB on the roster to work with. They will need to look for a good grad transfer who can help immediately.
Recruiting will be important. They need size on both lines and will likely have an opportunity for freshmen to come in an play a big role. They need to figure out the WR corps - they were young this season, but there was not much there this season. The defense was probably further along than the offense, but they need help all around. They are just thin all-around. 2020 will be a struggle regardless - if they can pull a 4-8 or a 5-7 record in 2020, it would be huge!