|Rutgers expect new running backs to share load|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 27 August 2008 11:31|
Schiano has listed sophomores Kordell Young and Mason Robinson as both the first- and second-string tailbacks and expects both players to see significant playing time when the Scarlet Knights open the season against Fresno State on Monday.
``It's not going to be one guy,'' Schiano said. ``Mason and Kordell are going to be a one-two punch. Right now we haven't locked in which exactly are going to be Mason's plays and who are going to be Kordell's plays.''
The options don't stop there. If Young or Robinson can't get going, Schiano could also turn to 235-pound bruiser Jourdan Brooks or redshirt freshman Joe Martinek.
``Jourdan is a big man, Joe brings something different as well,'' Schiano said. ``The coaches have done a good job of divvying up the pie.''
There may not be that many carries to go around on a team featuring quarterback Mike Teel and talented wide receivers Tiquan Underwood and Kenny Britt. Still, the Scarlet Knights know they'll need to be balanced if they want to build on their recent success.
``We're going to continue to be a pro-style offense, so we're going to have to run the ball for our offense to be effective,'' Underwood said. ``From the start you're going to need both (facets) but we do have a lot of experience coming back in the passing game. We're just going to continue to push along and try to bring both of them along at the same time.''
NEW TITLE, SAME OLD STEWART: Don't let the headset fool you. Just because he's the head coach now, don't expect West Virginia's Bill Stewart to change much.
The enthusiastic Stewart plans on keeping a close eye on the special teams, a role he's handled for years with the Mountaineers, but he'll leave the play calling on offense and defense to his coordinators.
``I'll never go to the defensive side,'' Stewart said. ``I've got more brain trust over there than a man deserves.''
Stewart has no special plans for when he runs out onto the field Saturday for the first time as the man in charge. He just hopes he doesn't trip over himself.
``I'm going to be me,'' Stewart said. ``I'm the same guy, I just switched offices. If I change then shame on me.''
Stewart said he's been pleased with his team's progress during camp, and thinks the Mountaineers are more than just the lightning quick duo of quarterback Pat White and running back Noel Devine.
``For us to be successful, we've got to take the heat off No. 5 (White) and No. 7 (Devine),'' Stewart said. ``Hopefully we can get that accomplished.''
Stewart expects Jock Sanders to help, calling the versatile wide receiver the team's most valuable player outside of White.
``He's a backup running back, starting slot (receiver), kick returner and he's got a great head on his shoulders,'' Stewart said. ``He just brings so much to the table. We're going to do more than just throw bubble screens to him.''
LAST BROHM STANDING: Former Louisville star Brian Brohm may have finally moved on to the NFL, but another Brohm could help determine whether the Cardinals bounce back from last season.
Jeff Brohm, Brian's older brother, was promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator in the offseason. His job will be to mold a unit that has new starters at every skill position and two more on the offensive line.
Though one of the architects of a passing game that helped his little brother become a Heisman Trophy candidate, Brohm expects the Cardinals to be a little more smashmouth.
``We want to get that running game going, get our guys some confidence,'' Brohm said. ``Sometimes, when you're a lineman and you're constantly backing up and blocking a guy, when it's time to run maybe you don't fire out quite so hard.''
A successful running game would take some of the pressure off quarterback Hunter Cantwell and a depleted receiving corps. Doug Beaumont and Troy Pascley could be the starting wideouts against Kentucky on Sunday. Their career reception total? Zero.
``It's just another reason to get that running game going,'' Brohm said.
GAME SYRACUSE: Playing the role of underdog is nothing new at Syracuse, so forgive the Orange if they're not bothered by another batch of preseason predictions that have them finishing at the bottom of the Big East.
``Having extra motivation being picked last by everybody, that's fine with us,'' junior quarterback Andrew Robinson said. ``We're perfectly happy being underdogs game in and game out. We feel like maybe some teams will overlook us or look to the next game and we can sneak up and stun some people.''
The quarterback survived 50 sacks and countless brutal hits a year ago to put up some pretty fair numbers - 2,192 yards passing and 13 touchdowns with seven interceptions - despite the worst running attack in the nation (2 yards per carry).
He'll have an experienced line coming back and a stable of running backs that could help take some of the pressure off.
The Orange welcome back their top two running backs from two seasons ago - Delone Carter, who missed all of 2007 with a dislocated hip, and Curtis Brinkley, who sat out the final four games last fall with a broken leg. Along with sophomore Doug Hogue, they are on the depth chart for Northwestern.
AP Sports Writer John Kekis in Syracuse, N.Y., contributed to this report.