The Rutgers offense is a work in progress, but shows improvement on a weekly basis. The Scarlet Knights run a pro-style offense and are in the first year under coordinator Dave Brock, who came from Boston College. The offense begins with sophomore quarterback Gary Nova, who won a battle in training camp for the spot. Nova does not have a strong history as a decision maker, committing 11 turnovers in eight career starts. Nova ranks second-to-last in the Big East in passing efficiency, but has done what the coaches ask by limiting turnovers and managing games. At receiver, keep an eye on sophomore Brandon Coleman, who stands at 6-foot-6 and runs a 40-yard dash in the 4.4s. The Rutgers offensive line is much improved in 2012, tied for fifth in the nation in sacks allowed.
Impact Player — Sophomore running back Jawan Jamison is proving that you do not need to be a big-time prospect to be a big-time college football player. Jamison leads the Big East with 373 rushing yards. He is a bruiser with the vision to turn no gains into positive plays. He enters Fayetteville, Ark., nine days off a career-high 41 rushing attempts.
The Rutgers defense is built upon speed and aggression. Under first-year coordinator Robb Smith, the Scarlet Knights already have two non-offensive touchdowns, six turnovers and a blocked punt. Rutgers runs a standard 4-3 defense, but mixes and matches bodies on all three levels, rotating eight defensive linemen, four linebackers and six defensive backs into the starting rotation. The Rutgers defense is 19th in the country against the pass and has a recent history of success against inexperienced quarterbacks.
Impact Player — Fifth-year senior Khaseem Greene is last year's co-Big East Defensive Player of the year and a tackle machine. Greene has been dominant at weakside linebacker as a run-stuffer and quarterback spy. Greene chose to return for his senior year instead of testing the NFL waters and leads the team with 34 tackles and four TFLs.