What defensive improvements are needed for Rutgers football in 2023?

In 2022, Rutgers had below average defense, placing them second from bottom among Big Ten Teams. As a team, Rutgers lost an average of 29.3 points per game, 45 touchdowns and 351 points per game in 12 games. What areas of improvement should Scarlet Knights focus in 2023?

line of defense

The Rutgers defensive line is one of the main themes to pay attention to this season. The Scarlet Knights had 20 sacks last year, placing them in 12th place in the Big Ten Conference. Putting pressure on the quarterback increases the chances of losses, resulting in a positive play for the Scarlet Knights.

The leader of the conference in this indicator was Penn State, who had 43 sacks last season, more than double Rutgers’ total sacks. If the Scarlet Knights can’t chase the quarterback with their defensive line alone, then they should consider changing their defensive pattern by becoming aggressive and blitzing.


Rutgers Football’s run defense mentality is simple: “We’d rather die in our break than let anything get through.”

Speed ​​boost

In 2022, the Rutgers defense threw nine interceptions, finishing 12th in the Big Ten Conference. Illinoisthe Big Ten leader in steals, had 24 steals last season, more than double the Scarlet Knights’ total. With those nine interceptions, Rutgers scored two touchdowns. Head coach Greg Schiano I would like his defense to support the offense with an easy score.

Red zone protection

In all defensive indicators Rutgers Red Zone Defense was the worst at the conference. In 2022, the Scarlet Knights were the last to defend the red zone among the Big Ten. In 12 games, Rutgers’ opponents made 41 attempts and scored 39 times in the red zone.


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During the 2022 season, the Scarlet Knights only stopped their opponents in the red zone twice, forcing only one crossing. Rutgers’ opponents had a 95.1% chance of scoring either a touchdown or field goal while inside Rutgers’ twenty-yard line. In 2023, Rutgers needs a twist, not to break the mentality, to stay strong when their rivals stomp on the goal line.

Rutgers’ defense is ranked below average for defense performance in the Big Ten. Look out for the Scarlet Knights to change their defensive philosophy to improve those defensive weaknesses.


An early look at Rutgers Football Club’s 2023 schedule.

The story originally appeared on the Rutgers Wire channel.


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