COACH: Kyle Flood, fourth year, 23-16
2014 RECORD: 8-5 (3-5, T-fourth)
RETURNING STARTERS: 12 (5 offense, 5 defense, 2 kickers)
WHAT WE KNOW: The Scarlet Knights entered the Big Ten in pretty fair fashion, winning eight games and getting Flood an unusual but welcome in-season contract extension through 2018. Consecutive games vs. Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin didn't go well (three losses by 45-14 average), but that was expected. This team has impressive athletes and star power in DT Darius Hamilton, DE Kemoko Turay, LB Steve Longa and SE Leonte Carroo. What's needed are more bruisers in both lines.
WHAT WE WANT TO KNOW: Which of two redshirt sophomores — Chris Laviano or LSU transfer Hayden Rettig — will become the No. 1 QB? Does Laviano have an insurmountable edge after completing 71 percent of his passes in three spring scrimmages with four TDs and no interceptions? Can junior RB Paul James return to form (5.8 yards a carry) after missing the last nine games with a knee injury? Will the young offensive linemen being counted on after multiple injuries up front be able to handle Big Ten competition?
SOMETHING FUN TO KNOW: Flood invited Rutgers grad and NFL RB Ray Rice to speak to his team about Rice's domestic violence case. Flood said: "It was an opportunity for him to deliver a message to prevent one of our young people from doing that in the future."