Kickoff Primer: What to Watch

ScarletReport.com has the impact players, who has the most to prove, which players are in "building" mode and much more.

Syracuse, N.Y. — Big East play gets underway for Rutgers tomorrow at the Carrier Dome. After a disappointing last-place finish in the conference last season, the Scarlet Knights (2-1) look to get off on the right foot against Syracuse (3-1). The Orange have two straight wins against Rutgers, which has not won the rivalry game since Mike Teel was quarterback.

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. WR Mohamed Sanu — Can Sanu top his reception total for the fourth straight game? Probably not. But Syracuse may have to triple team him to slow down the best statistical start for a receiver under Greg Schiano.

2. QB Chas Dodd — Dodd took a step forward against Ohio and showed he could rebound from the beating he took against North Carolina. The passes were not perfect, but nearly every ball he threw was catchable and close to on the money.

Kaleb Johnson
3. OTs Andre Civil and Kaleb Johnson — The tackle pair is guarunteed to have a deciding impact on this game. The only question is if that impact is positive or negative. Rutgers gave up an embarrassing nine sacks last time in the Carrier Dome and that was with NFL big men Anthony Davis and Kevin Haslam at tackle.

4. RB Jeremy Deering — He can get you in the run or receiving out of the backfield. Now Deering adds kick return to his versatile repertoire.

5. SS Duron Harmon — He did not cover well against Ohio, but Harmon still leads the team with three interceptions and 82 return yards.

Who has the most to prove?
1. RB Savon Huggins — His first drive as the starter was simply ugly. Huggins is already Rutgers' top red-zone back, but needs to prove to the team he can bounce back from last week. If any freshman can recover quickly, it is Huggins because of his mental maturity.

2. WR Mark Harrison — Harrison cannot have another case of the drops against Syracuse. Last year's top receiver needs to prove to Dodd and company that he can be relied on.

Mark Harrison
3. P Justin Doerner — Kicking it out of bounds is the No. 1 no-no for someone in Doerner's position. Inside a dome, there is simply no excuse for the junior to not have a good game.

4. WR Brandon Coleman — Dodd targeted him multiple times and put him in a position to make plays against Ohio. Gary Nova also threw a catchable ball that fell through Coleman's hands. Dodd cannot spread the ball when his receivers do not make plays.

5. WR Miles Shuler — If he gets onto the field that is. Shuler's red-shirt is burned, so why not try him on a play or two to see what he can do in a live game. Shuler has to prove he can do it in practice first, but the youngest player on the team is also the fastest and can have an impact.

Looking to build
1. RB Jawan Jamison — Officially a part of the rushing attack, Jamison looks to build on his career highs in rushing attempts (29) and yards from scrimmage (119).

2. TE Paul Carrezola — The tight end showed great hands in his first career touchdown reception. Greg Schiano hinted that tight ends could become a strength of the offense.

Ka'Lial Glaud
3. DE Ka'Lial Glaud — He embodied "the swarm" against the Bobcats and could have had his first career touchdown if he held the football tighter.

4. DE Marcus Thompson — As Thompson says, he finally found a home at defensive end and was disruptive off the bench in the first three games. With Marvin Booker out indefinitely, Thompson takes his place on the two-deep and is a bigger factor in the defensive line rotation.

5. RG Betim Bujari — The first start went off without a hitch. Now the sole starter, Bujari has to deal with the Carrier Dome.

Poised for a breakout
Chas Dodd
QB Chas Dodd — Nothing Sanu can do is really a "breakout" anymore, but look for his quarterback to mimic what he did against Connecticut to open Big East play last season. If the line handles the Syracuse pass rush, Dodd is in position to pick apart a secondary surrendering 317 passing yards per game against FBS opponents.

Freshman worth watching
Kevin Snyder
OLB Kevin Snyder — Silently increasing his special-teams and defensive work load, the athletic true freshman is sixth on the team in tackles.


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