Kickoff Primer: What to Watch

Before heading to Raymond James Stadium to tailgate or kickin' up the recliner to watch tonight's Big East matchup at South Florida, make sure you know what to be looking for. ScarletReport.com has the impact players, who has the most to prove, which players are in "building" mode and much more.

TAMPA -- It's been 10 days but feels like 10 weeks since Rutgers last played, but the Scarlet Knights finally return to the field tonight (7 p.m.) at South Florida.

The Scarlet Knights are trying to get back to their winning ways after a 27-point loss at Pittsburgh by looking to go 3-0 against the Bulls at Raymond James Stadium.

ScarletReport.com will be in attendance to report on the action and bring reaction from it, but ScarletReport.com also has you covered leading up to the game.

Who will make the biggest impact, who has the most to prove and who is the player to watch? Well, we've done our best to identify those things, and offer a few other fun tidbits.

Impact players
1. MLB Steve Beauharnais – A year ago he shadowed USF quarterback B.J. Daniels, and did a great job. If he is called to do so again today, he will have a huge impact on the outcome of the game.
2. RB Joe Martinek – USF isn't a physical defense, and Martinek's running style could wear the Bulls down. He has carried the ball 46 times for 226 yards in the last two meetings.
David Rowe
3. CB David Rowe – He had a tough game against Pittsburgh, but that had a lot to do with Jonathan Baldwin. Now, he gets his chance to show his mental toughness.
4. SS Joe Lefeged – He needs to break a big return on special teams, and also will have the chance to do plenty of hitting in the secondary to try and create turnovers.
5. WR Mohamed Sanu – Rutgers wants to be physical, Sanu's foot is feeling better and running with toughness in the Wildcat and finding places in USF's zone on short passes will be crucial.

Who has the most to prove?
1. The OL – Forget trying to figure out which offensive lineman needs to do a better job. The whole unit needs to block better of the worst scoring offense in the Big East will continue to be just that.
2. DE Jonathan Freeny – He is a regular on this list, mostly because Rutgers' rush-end has one-half sack for a defense that has one sack in the last three games.
Khaseem Greene
3. FS Khaseem Greene – The red-shirt sophomore is incredibly talented, but needs to react quicker and be more active in the running game.
4. QB Chas Dodd – Many of the 15 sacks Rutgers allowed the last two games falls on the offensive line, but Dodd needs to get rid of the ball quicker in some instances.
5. P Teddy Dellaganna – Too often his punts are leaving short fields for opposing offenses. Thirty yard punts won't help, and when questions are arising about the punter, it is rarely a good thing.

Looking to build
1. SLB Ka'Lial Glaud – He is making his second career start, and he is much more equipped to handle the speed and stamina needed for playing a full game.
2. RB Jordan Thomas – The speedy freshman had a crucial fumble in the third quarter at Pittsburgh, but was having a solid game before the turnover.
D.C. Jefferson
3. TE D.C. Jefferson – He has three catches in his last seven games, and if his ankle is healthy, he could be a major player for the offense this week.
4. TE Fabian Ruiz – He is quiet, but check out the blocking when No. 87 is in the game. At some point, all the blocking may allow him to be turned loose for a pass.
5. QB Tom Savage – If he gets in the game, he has a base to work off thanks to his late appearance against Pittsburgh. He was 2 of 3 for 46 yards in his first work since injury his hand in early October.

Poised for a breakout
Joe Martinek
RB Joe Martinek – His physical running style coupled with potential shifts along the offensive line could lead to Rutgers' rushing attack coming alive. Given USF's inability in the past to deal with Rutgers' physical runners, he could be asked to play a huge role in the contest. The more he carries, the better it suits the Scarlet Knights.

Freshman worth watching
Andre Civil
OT Andre Civil – He began the season on the defensive line, but now could be a factor on the offensive line. Coach Greg Schiano said he expected the red-shirt freshman to play, so keep an eye on how No. 66 fares against the USF defensive ends.


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