1. Artur Sitowski showed promise
It’s still very early, so even though freshman quarterback Artur Sitowski put considerable distance between himself and the other quarterbacks, he still needs to seal the job. The good news for him is that he is halfway there already, showing off his arm on deep shots to Bo Melton and an early understanding for the offense.
There were plenty of standout plays from this year's @RFootball Scarlet/White game – check them out here, as well as postgame thoughts from Bo Melton, Art Sitkowski, Gio Rescigno, Travis Vokolek and KJ Gray #TheHunt pic.twitter.com/lwlXq2cpD8
— RVision (@RVisionRU) April 15, 2018
There were a few plays that the young quarterback probably wishes he could have back that could’ve turned into interceptions, but again, it is early. He also took the 2-minute drill, and orchestrated it extremely well, capping off the drive with a touchdown throw to Melton.
What is important now is that Sitowski continues this strong spring into the summer, and gains the following of the team. If he continues to check off boxes for the coaching staff, the starting job could be in sight for Artur Sitowski.
2. This offense can be exciting
The addition of John McNulty brought along a new playbook, one which was in speedy and spread out. On Saturday, this was on display for all to see. There were a number of different formations, with quarterbacks taking snaps from both under center and out of the gun, with go routes covering the field. Obviously this was just a skeleton of what is to come, but the firepower is here, and the players showed they could have the ability to fill these roles.
3. Tom Flacco shows how strong the quarterback position is
This take away is more fun than logistics, but wow, Tom Flacco provides an excellent back up for this team.
On a football team, I feel that your backup quarterback is easily a top 20 position and that goes for everyone from the New England Patriots to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. That being said, Flacco may not be winning the number two job, but there is nothing wrong with having a strong quarterback room, and Flacco represents that.
The scrambling ability gene must skip a generation in the Flacco family, because Joe’s younger brother showed an extraordinary willingness to use his talented legs. He finished with eight completions on ten attempts with one interception, but Flacco made good decisions, showed aggressiveness, and played with great visible confidence.
4. This Rutgers defense is coming together
Last season, Rutgers held Heisman Trophy winner, and potential first overall pick in this year’s draft, Saquon Barkley, to just 35 yards rushing. Yes, this came on a game where Rutgers lost by 29 points, but this is still a low mark for such a prolific runner. If the offense is able to be slightly more efficient than last season, combined with a conglomerate of returning players, more stout games should be expected this year.
Isaiah Wharton and Saquan Hampton held down the secondary, linebackers Tyreek Maddox-Williams and Tyshon Fogg looked hungry, and Kevin Wilkins anchored the defensive line. This should be a fun group to watch this season.
5. The culture has carried over
I wrote last week about how important it was that Rutgers showed that the atmosphere which Chris Ash has been building around the program continues to display itself. This year’s spring game looked like that feeling has carried over into this year.
The comradery, the big hits, the dancing, all speak volumes about a team building an identity. The day was capped off with a special moment when 5-year old Mordecai Carthy, a child battling autism, was given the ball on the last play of the game to score a 93-yard touchdown, the longest rushing touchdown in Rutgers history. Football aside, this was a moment which Mordecai and the 2018 Scarlet Knights will hold in their hearts and minds forever.
Best play of the .@RFootball Scarlet White Game! 5-Year Old Mordecai Carthy with a 93-yard rushing Touchdown – the longest in RU history! pic.twitter.com/iP7SwS8TuC
— Rutgers Scarlet Knights (@RUAthletics) April 14, 2018