The Rutgers Scarlet Knights opened their season last night with a rather unimpressive 31-0 victory over the Norfolk State Spartans. The game was indeed closer than the score would indicate. Rutgers looked rusty, unprepared, or any other characteristic that goes along with that.
While the overall team performance was not up to par, there were a few individuals that stood out. Take a look at the top five performers for Rutgers in their season opening win.
1. CB Brandon Bing
Bing stepped into the starting cornerback spot in place of Devin McCourty who is now in the NFL. Bing played the entire game at corner until head coach Greg Schiano took his starters out. The corner broke up several passes and was strong in run support. His biggest plays however where on special teams. Bing blocked two punts, both leading to Rutgers scores. The biggest block was picked up by Joe Lefeged for a touchdown.
2. RB Joe Martinek
With all the talk about true freshman Jordan Thomas being the new backfield sensation, it was Joe Martinek who got the bulk of the work. Martinek carried the ball 20 times for 109 yards, including a six yard touchdown. On the scoring drive, Martinek had four carries for 54 yards. When Rutgers needed a spark on offense in the second half, Martinek used his power running style to take over. This was the fifth career 100 yard rushing game for the Junior.
3. DT Alex Silvestro
Silvestro was all over the field on defense. He would record five total tackles, one sack, and a quarterback hurry. Silvestro led the defensive charge with four tackles for loss, a career high.
4. LB Steve Beauharnais
Starting his first game at middle linebacker, Beauharnais led Rutgers with seven tackles. The seven tackles tied a career high and was the third straight game he has recorded that number. The starting middle linebacker also had three quarterback hurries.
5. PR Mason Robinson
This is basically by default because it was hard to find any other stand out performer from last night. Robinson gets the nod because his 28 yard punt return set up the final drive of the first half that led to a field goal for Rutgers. On the return, Robinson showed quickness and a burst of speed. If he learns to field more punts instead of letting them drop, Robinson could prove to be a dangerous returner for the Scarlet Knights.