Offensive questions abound for Rutgers Scarlet Knights during spring practice

By Tyler Brett
Howard Smith – USA TODAY Sports

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights earned a share of the Big East championship last season, but did so without the help of their offense for the most part. The Knights ranked No. 104 in total offense last season, averaging just 329.9 yards per game in 2012 and ranked No. 96 in scoring offense, averaging 21.46 points per game. During their three game losing streak to close out the season, they got even worse, averaging just 11 points per game. Can new offensive coordinator Ron Prince turn things around in 2013?

If he does, he will have his work cut out for him. The one bright spot on the offense last season, 1,000-yard rusher Jawan Jamison, is headed to the NFL, which leaves the starting running back position wide open heading into 2013. Former five-star recruit Savon Huggins will have his chance to step up and live up to his potential, though he hasn’t shown the consistency to create positive plays on a regular basis yet during his career at Rutgers.

Prince will have the benefit of Gary Nova returning at quarterback, if only for his experience. Last season, Nova threw for 2,695 yards with 25 touchdowns, but threw 16 interceptions to go along with hit. He will likely be in an open competition this spring with backup Chas Dodd to hold onto his starter’s job (though head coach Kyle Flood vehemently stands behind Nova) as Prince tries to find the right fit to run his offense. Dodd served as “co-starter” his first two seasons, but attempted just one pass in 2012. Nova and Dodd are the only quarterbacks on the roster with any game experience.

It will be no small feat to turn this group into an offensive machine overnight, but Ron Prince is going to do his best. He will have to hope to find some breakout stars this spring to build around, however, or face another long season of ineptitude in 2013.

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