Black Out

Rutgers - who is also battling a starting quarterback injury - will be having its annual Black Out game this Saturday when the Scarlet Knights (2-1) host Arkansas (3-0) in a 2:30 p.m. game that will be televised by ESPN.

Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood wasn't anymore ready Monday to pronounce his starting quarterback in or out for this week's game with visiting Arkansas than Razorback head coach Bret Bielema was.

Arkansas lost starter Brandon Allen to a shoulder injury in the first quarter while the Scarlet Knights were forced to go the last three quarters without Gary Nova, who suffered a concussion.

Nova, who had a career day at Arkansas last season in a 35-26 win, was listed as probable in the Rutgers' game notes on Monday after senior Chas Dodd relieved him last week.

"I have not seen Gary today," Flood said. "Hopefully by the end of the day we will have some idea by tommorow morning. We are going to have to know so that we can set the course of the week in terms of reps for the quarterbacks between Gary and Chas and Mike Bimonte as well.

"We have to make sure we are getting the right people ready in the short amount of time you have," Flood added. "Really the game plan goes in in about 28 hours from Tuesday morning to about Wednesday mid-day."

He made it clear that it will be solely the doctor's call on Nova.

"I leave it entirely with the medical staff," Flood said. "That is the protocol. When they tell me he is ready to go, he goes back out there. Until then, it is not my area of expertise."

Flood said it would not likely be a game-time decision.

"I think it would be tough for it to be a game-time decision because I don't know if you would put a quarterback in a great position out there without actually practicing what he is going to see and what he is going to go against, " Flood said.

"Arkansas has an excellent defense and I don't know that you would want to put him out there without practicing," Flood added.

It is clearly a big game for Rutgers (2-1) as Arkansas (3-0) becomes the first SEC team to ever visit Piscataway for a game and the Scarlet Knights' crowd will be participating in a black out.

"We have a really great game this Saturday for our fans to see at High Point Solutions Stadium," Flood said. "It will be our annual black out game. We'll have our black uniforms on. We will have an SEC team coming to our stadium for the first time in history of our program. I think that is exciting for our program – both the coaches and the players.

"We have an opportunity to be 1-0 against an excellent football team," Flood added. "Coach Bielema has done an excellent job there and has changed the culture and the values of their footbal team in a very short amout of time.

"I think that shown up most dramatically in their run game," Flood continued. "They are one of the most accomplished teams in the country with two guys averaging more than 100 yards per game."

Indeed the game will have three of the nation's top seven rushers with national leader Paul James (493) from Rutgers and the Arkansas duo of freshman Alex Collins (418 yards for fourth nationally) and sophomore Jonathan Williams (seventh nationally with 393 yards).

"Part of that could be their personality," Flood said. "They had a quarterback last year that was one of the top in the country and I think their quarterback this year has done a nice job, but they are asking him to do different things.

"I don't think it is any secret that Coach Bielema believes in the same thing that we believe in here – he wants to run the football and stop the run," Flood added. "And they have done a good job of that so far. That is exactly what we want to do.

"It will be a physical football game on Saturday with two teams that are going to give it their best to run the football," Flood said.

Flood doesn't expect any carry over from last season's win at Arkansas.

"I really don't think it does in most cases and even less in this case because the staff is different and some of the marquee players on both sides of the ball are different," Flood said. "...We have two different football teams, we have a different venue, they have a new coaching staff. We have two different coordinators so I think there is a lot of differences."





Kyle Flood


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