PISCATAWAY, NJ - Rutgers' first preseason scrimmage, held this morning at Rutgers Stadium, was an encouraging one, as both the offense and defense looked crisp in their first simulated game action since the Spring Game last April. After six days of training camp, the Scarlet Knights enjoyed a scrimmage that lasted approximately two hours and featured several impressive individual performances.
"I was pleased with the way the scrimmage went," said head coach Greg Schiano. "There were enough quality plays on both sides of the ball to deem it a success."
The offensive backfield played well all morning, led by the running back tandem of Markis Facyson (12 carries, 78 yards, 1 TD) and Marcus Jones (9 carries, 65 yards, 2 TDs), as well as the quarterback duo of Ryan Hart (8-for-14, 141 yards, 2 TDs) and Ted Trump (12-for-18, 105 yards). Facyson and Jones both broke off impressive TD runs during the course of the scrimmage as well.
Facyson's TD romp went for 46 yards, as he scampered down the right sideline, while Jones' went for 50 yards. Clarence Pittman also played well, carrying the ball eight times for 37 yards.
"I thought all our running backs ran the way we wanted them to," said Schiano. "I had mentioned to Coach Hazell prior to the scrimmage that it would be nice to see our running backs pop off some big runs this morning and they did that."
Fifteen different receivers caught passes, with Clark Harris and Tres Moses hauling in TD receptions. Moses' grab was a highlight-reel caliber play, leaping across the middle and then turning upfield for the end zone during for the first score of the scrimmage. Defensively, freshman William Beckford performed well, amassing 6.5 tackles from his linebacker spot, while freshman DeVraun Thompson led the team with seven stops. Freshman walk-on Ramel Meekins opened eyes along the defensive line, registering 5.5 tackles and two sacks, while Piana Lukabu had 5.5 from his defensive end position. Jarvis Johnson led the backfield with 4.5 tackles and one fumble recovery, the lone fumble of the day.
"It was a scrimmage, so I don't want to get too excited," said Schiano. "I thought today was what a scrimmage was supposed to be about."
Rutgers returns to double-session practices on Wednesday (8:20 a.m., RAC/3:20 p.m., RU Stadium Complex) and a single session on Thursday at 2:50 p.m. Friday will also use the double-session format, while the team will host its second scrimmage on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. inside Rutgers Stadium. All practices through Saturday's scrimmage are open to the public; after Saturday, practices are closed through the end of training camp. Saturday's scrimmage will be the final opportunity for the general public to catch the Scarlet Knigthts before their season opener on Aug. 30 vs. Buffalo (7:00 p.m./Rutgers Stadium).