Sean Gleeson is in his first season as the Rutgers offensive coordinator and has led one of the most improved offensive units in the nation. Through six Big Ten games, the Scarlet Knights are averaging 30.8 points per game after averaging 5.7 in nine Big Ten games in 2019. The 30.8 points per game are also on pace for the team’s best scoring average since joining the Big Ten, with the previous best being 21.3 in 2015. Nationally, RU is one of seven teams that have surpassed its 2019 point total and the only team in the group that has played fewer than eight games. Rutgers is also the most improved team in the Big Ten in scoring offense (+17.5), total offense (+96.2), offensive touchdowns (+4) and passing offense (+94.2). The Scarlet Knights has scored at least 20 points in all six games, never having a streak of five consecutive conference games with at least that total in program history. Rutgers entered the season having recorded 20 points or more only five times the previous four seasons combined in Big Ten play (36 games) and 12 times in the first 52 games since joining the league in 2014.
Gleeson spent 2019 as the Oklahoma State offensive coordinator and led an offense that averaged 32.5 points (36th nationally) and 453.9 yards (22nd nationally) per game with two ranked wins and a berth in the 2019 Texas Bowl. The balanced unit (2,985 rushing yards, 2,916 passing yards) also ranked 17th in the country with 229.6 rushing yards per game and 27th with a 64.1 completion percentage. Three offensive players earned All-Big 12 honors, including Big 12 Offensive Player Chuba Hubbard, Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year Spencer Sanders and second-team wide receiver Tylan Wallace. Hubbard was also named a consensus All-America pick and a Doak Walker Award finalist after leading the nation with 2,093 rushing yards and 179.54 all-purpose yards per game. Previously, Gleeson engineered one of the most explosive offenses in the Football Championship Subdivision and helped the Tigers to an undefeated 2018 season. In Gleeson’s six years on staff, Princeton won three Ivy League championships and averaged 36.9 points per game, which marked the program’s highest output over a six-year stretch in program history.
Rutgers has shown offensive statistical improvements compared to through six Big Ten games last season. The Scarlet Knights scored 51 points and with six touchdowns overall in nine conference games in 2019.Rutgers Through Six Big Ten Games (two special teams touchdowns in 2020)
STAT – 2020-2019+/-Points 18524+161First Downs 12661+65Rushing Yards 815675+140 Passing Yards 1,401451 +950 Total Offense 2,2161,126 + 1,090Touchdowns243 + 21 National Scoring Offense Improvement1. Kent State (MAC) 4 Games + 20.62. Buffalo (MAC) 4 Games +19.33. BYU (Independent) 9 Games+19.14. Rutgers (Big Ten) 6 Games+17.5
Quarterback Noah Vedral started the first five games, highlighted by 381 passing yards versus Michigan, eighth-most in program history. Joining a transfer, Vedral ranks sixth in the Big Ten with 1,104 passing yards. He also ranks 13th nationally and second in the Big Ten with 22.2 completions per game, adding 12 first downs rushing. Due to injury, backup quarterback Artur Sitkowski started in the win at Purdue and threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter, his first collegiate game with multiple touchdown passes. RU has also used Johnny Langan as a wildcat quarterback, as he rushed for nine first downs to help wind down the clock at Purdue, adding a 62-yard touchdown pass. Wide receiver Bo Melton was a midseason addition to the Biletnikoff Award watch list, ranking fourth in the Big Ten with five receiving touchdowns and sixth with 474 receiving yards. Melton had recorded 755 receiving yards with two touchdowns in his previous 36 games before this season. On the offensive line, Rutgers returned one starter from last season and of the seven lineman who have made starts, three had never started an FBS game, two had less than two starts and another had only four.