The Monday Morning Kickoff

Bobby Deren, Editor
Scarlet Nation

Rutgers jumped back into the win column this past weekend with a 65-0 victory over Morgan State inside High Point Solutions Stadium. It was the opportunity for some freshmen to shine as quarterback Johnathan Lewis took center stage with four rushing touchdowns and one passing score.

Meanwhile, freshman running back Raheem Blackshear ripped off 102 yards on 14 carries and scored twice.

"As a group, we've been practicing every week together and together we improve every week and it showed that we have a bright future,” Lewis said of his freshman class.

It was also a memorable day for some redshirt freshmen as Mike Maietti headlined that group with his first-ever start at the center position.

“It was awesome,” Maietti said after the game. “At first, I was a little nervous but some of the older guys who were next to me really helped me to calm down and I just played my game after the first hit.”

Maietti started in place of Jonah Jackson who sat out with a back issue.

“He’s suffered just a strained back last game,” head coach Chris Ash said of Jackson after the win. “So he didn't really practice much this week. We hope to have him back here this next week."

There was a contingent of visiting prospects on hand and among them was linebacker Noah Taylor of the Avalon School (Gaithersburg, Md.), who is currently committed to Virginia.

"It went pretty well,” Taylor said of the visit. “I like how they run their defense, a lot of moving around. They look like they are changing the program around fast."

Now that Rutgers is 1-2 on the season, it is on to Big Ten play. First up is a trip to Nebraska next weekend. The Huskers have an identical 102 record and are coming off a 21-17 loss to Northern Illinois.

"We feel like we're going into a new season with Big Ten play coming,” RU running back Rob Martin said. “Everyone has to bring their A game. I look forward to going out there and our team looks forward to going out there next week [at Nebraska]. They're a good team and it's a good environment. We just want to showcase the work we've put in all offseason.”

Ash will hold his weekly press conference today followed by offensive and defense coordinators Jerry Kill and Jay Niemann. Scarlet Nation will be on hand inside The Hale Center with LIVE updates.

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