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Offensive Food, Offensive Offense? // B1G 2019: Rutgers Potluck #2

Can an improved offensive line—or a transfer quarterback?—be the cure-all for Rutgers in 2019?

Northwestern v Rutgers Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Good afternoon! How are you enjoying Rutgers week? We’ve had some excellent content and thoughts from our Rutgers staff, and we’d love to hear what else you all want to know.

Today our OTE writers are weighing in on the Rutgers offense. Of course, you should know, Rutgers’ offense got a huge boost on Sunday when 24/7 broke that Texas Tech QB McLane Carter would be transferring. To Rutgers.

...I know, me too.

Anyways, we’ll have more on Carter transferring to Rutgers later in the week, but in the meantime, we’ll muddle on as is.

Question #1: Pro-Style and Competent?

Don’t look now, but OC John McNulty has quietly put together the pieces of a pro-style offense that...might be competent? The Knights’ OL--lots of experience up front, including three-year starters like C Mike Maietti and RT Kamaal Seymour--allowed just 1.33 sacks/game in 2018 and replace just one true starter in 2019.

With a wealth of options at RB--from speedster Raheem Blackshear to Isaih Pacheco--and, yes, STARTING FULLBACK Max Anthony (a very fullbackian name, we’ll add) [we have learned that Max Anthony has transferred, sadly], Rutgers has pro-style components to make things happen...if only they had a quarterback to get them the ball and a more experienced corps of wide receivers.

So, we ask you: Is Rutgers’ offense really just an improved Artur Sitkowski or breakout RB away from competence on offense? How do the Knights ambulate over the turf this year?

Jesse: Remember yesterday when I was like, “You know, trying to be a big boy school while not really having the weapons is a bad idea,” with a conclusion that they should just spread it out and worry more about speed and less about literally everything else. This feels like the opposite and I just don’t think this will end well.

LPW: Sitkowski will doom everything they do.

Andrew: Both LT Tariq Cole and TE Jerome Washington are gone, so no, this is not a fully stocked offense or even one that’s kind of close. The running backs are the only group that isn’t definitely below conference average, and if opponents are zeroed in on them, they won’t look it.

WSR: No. Everything starts up front, and Rutgers needs to make steps towards having an improved OL to be a better offense.

The one nice thing I can say is that the Scarlet Knights were tied for first in sacks allowed. And that’s nice, because they were 12th in yards per rush and 14th in yards per attempt. Just for fun I looked at yards per completion (smaller numbers could have a few non-Sitkowski reasons, but it might mean that they just get rid of it quickly to protect a QB), and Rutgers were last in that too.

As an expert on the subject, I can tell you that if you don’t have a good OL you’re going to be a shit team and it can take a very long time to recover from having not good fat kids. Until Rutgers makes some major strides there, it doesn’t matter if they have Art Sitkowski or the unholy laboratory creation made up of parts of Antwaan Randle El, Drew Brees, and Kerry Collins because the team won’t be able to do much of anything on offense.

Ray: Will they blow anyone away? Probably not.

That said, the bar is set low. If they can be around 1:1 TD:INT and move the ball at all the defense should hold up enough to win some games. They don’t have to make big plays or even score a lot of points for Rutgers to make serious progress from 2018. The big question is whether Sophomore Sitkowski/Texas Tech Dude is going to be better than Freshman Sitkowski (a point I’ll recently have touched on at some point in the future past). My bet is yes.

The one other element to think about is the ridiculously stacked backfield. Pacheco and Blackshear have ridiculous and complementary skill sets and should be able to create a ton of opportunity. This should be a classic Big Ten offense. Grind out tough yards, throw a few big passes, hopefully hang onto the football and pray the defense makes some big plays to win the game.

Dead Read: “Ambulate?” Surely you mean “matriculate.”

Big sky point to Hank Stram and his abuse of a “Word of the Day” calendar.

It looks like Rutgers got a grad transfer QB [McLane Carter...more on him later] out of Texas Tech. I am guessing he can probably sling it. Hey, it is a step forward! Helpful hint—pro style offenses work best when you have pros playing in it. I don’t think Rutgers has that going for them. I say throw it sixty times a game and see what happens.

MNW: I was referencing a NUMB cheer to “advance, advance, ambulate over the turf!” but of course, Dead Read, you are surely right.

At this boy, what does Rutgers do? You can ship Sitkowski at this point, if you’re Chris Ash, and put all your hope on McLane Carter to throw the ball a little better to Raheem Blackshear out in the flat. Perhaps, though, a little gun-slinging will revive the Rutgers offense.

Thumpasaurus: You know, they weren’t too unlike Illinois in that they had more success with the run than you would have thought, but had so little beyond that that it barely mattered.

  • Passing downs were an enormous liability, and there was little Rutgers could do to compensate because you can’t just give up and run up the middle to avoid turning it over.
  • Ash wants to play classic Lovieball, essentially, which involves controlling the clock, running the ball and winning the game with your defense and special teams. Ash is actually closer to establishing it than is Lovie, but one of the principal tenets is winning the turnover battle.

Avoiding turnovers is more important than scoring offensive touchdowns in this philosophy. With a full year of McNulty’s system installed, perhaps the passing downs playbook can actually be executed with less risk this time.

Townie: This Rutgers team was a historically bad Rutgers team...

That means it needs way more than Sitkowski and a running back to be named later. I think this team needs a whole reboot, starting with the coach.

Question #2: The Jersey Hot Dog

Food Portion: Look upon this image of the “Jersey-style hot dogs” and despair:

Tell me which one of those is a sex act, which one of those is most disgusting, and which one of those you would eat.

Candystripes: In order: All of them, all of them, none of them.

Jesse: Obviously the ripper is the sex act, the wacky topping is the most disgusting, and let’s be real, all of us would try any of these put in front of us. Those with state fairs can’t throw stones at ridiculous hot dogs.

Candystripes: Actually, I don’t eat hotdogs of any kind, and these aren’t inspiring me to try again.

LPW: I never thought in all my time hanging out and writing on this site I’d be describing sex acts. Did I ever write about Northwestern’s fucksaw? I don’t remember. FWIW, it’s the ripper. Also, Chicago-Style hotdogs are the way to go.

MNW: I don’t like ketchup or mustard or relish, so that really cuts down on my options for specific hot dog-eating, too.

Of these, though? I don’t think the “Pushcart” is getting nearly enough love as a sex position. It reminds me of the Archer episode where Lana is trying to seduce the Prince of Durhan and, in telling Archer about this, Cyril suggests they could be in any number of positions: “Cowgirl? Wheelbarrow? Butter churn?” I see “Pushcart” in that tradition, except one of us is dressed up as a Russian peasant woman. But I’ll never tell which.

I would not come near the Easton Style (gross, Jersey), and I would most likely try the Italian hot dog because...well, I’m just kind of curious.

Ray: Why would you differentiate a sex act and a food act? Oh that’s right, your stodgy midwestern upbringing. All of these dogs are HOT HOT HOT!

Dead Read: Nope. Just nope.

babaoreally: Italian hot dog is the mobster, Texas Weiner is the cowboy, Ripper is the olde English murderer, Wacky Dog is drugs, Jumbo Dog is a Rottweiler, Pushcart is a that period of time when people were hyping a revolutionary secret invention that turned out to be the segway, and Easton style is how I comb my hair.

BRT: I think this is actually my favorite thing I’ve seen out of New Jersey, ever. First of all, I’m disturbed that you all think “Ripper” is the sex act “obviously”--you are scary individuals. I think the Pushcart has promise, and of course, there’d be nothing wrong with a Jumbo Dog. The Wacky Dog is an abomination that I would not consume. I’d try the Easton or the Texas dogs--both sound pretty good.

Townie: I heard about a fraternity guy who bragged that the Italian hot dog was his “move”. The Wacky dog is hideous...but the ripper is actually a great hot dog.

Thumpasaurus: I’m going to ignore this and think about Portillo’s.


What’s the most likely Rutgers finish in offensive rankings in the conference?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Top 7: Anything 7 or higher feels like a win.
    (5 votes)
  • 30%
    8th-12th: It is definitely an offense!
    (39 votes)
  • 34%
    13th—thank God for Illinois!
    (43 votes)
  • 30%
    Dead fucking last.
    (39 votes)
126 votes total Vote Now


Which of these would you eat?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    (22 votes)
  • 9%
    (8 votes)
  • 13%
    (11 votes)
  • 9%
    (8 votes)
  • 26%
    (22 votes)
  • 13%
    (11 votes)
  • 2%
    Wacky Dog
    (2 votes)
84 votes total Vote Now