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Rutgers Scarlet Knights 2015 NCAA Football Odds & Predictions

2015-2016 Football Previews (Big Ten)- Scarlet Knights

Rutgers had a really nice season in 2014. The Scarlet Knights weren’t expected to win more than 4 or 5 games, but they finished with an impressive 8-5 record. Kyle Flood is in his fourth year with the program, and I think it’s time he starts getting some credit for doing a great job maximizing the talent of his team.

NCAA Football Gambling Lines

Big 10 Lines

Big Ten 2015-2016 College Football Preview – Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Head Coach: Kyle Flood
2014 Record: 8-5
Odds to Win College Football Championship (from BetOnline): +30,000
Odds to win Big Ten (from BetOnline): +15,000
Season Win Total (from 5Dimes): 5.5

Flood has a tough task ahead this year. Rutgers returns only 10 starters (5 offense and 5 defense). The Scarlet Knights don’t get any favors in the scheduling department either. Rutgers must play at Penn State, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

They will host Michigan State and Ohio State as well. The Scarlet Knights will be at a talent disadvantage in the Big Ten. Can they overcome it? Let’s look at their strengths and weaknesses.

Team Strengths

Rutgers is loaded in the backfield. Paul James had trouble staying healthy last year, but he’s ready for this season, and he’s a really talented runner. Josh Hicks, Desmon Peoples, Robert Martin, and Justin Goodwin will also get carries. This is unquestionably the deepest single unit on the entire Rutgers team. Look for this team to run the football early and often this season.

Rutgers also returns a nice nucleus of wide receivers. Leonte Caroo averaged 19.7 yards per catch and finished with ten touchdown receptions. Caroo turned down the NFL and surprised many by coming back. He’ll be the leader again, but expect Janarian Grant and Andre Patton to improve their numbers from last year. Ruhan Peele was out for the year last year, but he’ll be a big contributor this season.

Rutgers returns its top two linebackers from last year, and transfer Kaiwan Lewis will start at the middle linebacker spot. This is a pretty good group of linebackers who are sure tacklers and will do a good job staying in their lanes.

Team Weaknesses

The quarterback spot is a big question mark. Gary Nova did a solid job for the team last year, but he’s gone. Chris Laviano will likely start this year, but he completed only 11 of 28 passes in limited action last year. Hayden Rettig will also compete for time here.

The Rutgers pass defense was a strength a couple years ago, but they haven’t been good of late. They look like a weakness again this year.  The Big Ten is loaded with talent quarterbacks, and I see this secondary being picked apart on a weekly basis in conference play.

Rutgers lost 113 career starts on the offensive line. The Scarlet Knights were able to have success last year because they were so strong on the offensive front. Last year, opponents picked up only 19 sacks against this unit. Things will be a lot different last year. This group goes from a strength to a weakness.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 2015-2016 Prediction: 5-7

I really respect Flood and the rest of this coaching staff, but there are a bunch of holes on this team.

It will have a really hard time in the Big Ten, and I’m not sure it can go unbeaten in the non-conference portion of the schedule again this year.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 2015 College Football Schedule

Regular Season
Date Time vs
9/5/15 TBD NORF
9/12/15 TBD WSU
9/19/15 8:00 PM ET @PSU
9/26/15 12:00 PM ET KU
10/10/15 8:00 PM ET MSU
10/17/15 3:30 PM ET @IND
10/24/15 8:00 PM ET OSU
10/31/15 TBD @WIS
11/7/15 TBD @MICH
11/14/15 TBD NEB
11/21/15 12:00 PM ET @ARMY
11/28/15 TBD MD

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