Time: Noon, Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
TV/Radio: SNY, 710-WOR, 1450-AM, 97.5 FM, 88.7 WRSU
Series: Syracuse leads, 30-10-1
Last meeting: Nov. 13, 2010: Syracuse won, 13-10
Coaches: Rutgers – Greg Schiano (11th season, 61-64); Syracuse – Doug Marrone (3rd season, 15-14)
- Big East Opener. Like the Scarlet Knights say, every conference game is a championship game. There is no Big East championship game, meaning the title is based simply on wins and losses in the regular season. Rutgers looks to start off 1-0 in the Big East for the second straight season with a win tomorrow over the Orange.
- Hostile Environment. The last trip to the Carrier Dome was an ugly one. The offensive line surrendered nine sacks and gave Marrone a signature win in his inaugural season. Rutgers has not beating Syracuse on the road since Ray Rice and Kenny Britt combined for 404 yards and four touchdowns in 2007.
- Send a Message. It may not have much extra meaning to Schiano or his team, but to the fans, it is a chance to help the door hit Syracuse on the way out. Rutgers has back-to-back games against ACC defectors Syracuse and Pittsburgh and can send a strong message with a pair of wins.
Offensively, the Orange have impact players in both the run and pass game. It begins with quarterback Ryan Nassib, who was effective two years ago in the Dome along with Greg Paulus. Last year, he efficiently went 16-for-31 for 214 yards, a touchdown and an interceptions.
Syracuse has an efficient running game led by Antwon Bailey's 318 yards in four games. In the passing game, receivers Alec Lemon and Van Chew each have more than 225 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Lemon also passed for a touchdown on a trick play.
|Quarterback Ryan Nassib|
This year, however, the Syracuse pass rush has not been as dynamic. The Orange average just two sacks per game and allow 126 rushing yards per game.
2. Good line play. Rutgers plans to use a silent count on the offensive line to counteract the anticipated noise in the Carrier Dome. The more time Dodd has, the less Rutgers needs to worry about starting off 0-1 in the conference.
3. Stretch the field with Sanu. The junior receiver may lead the nation in catches per game, but averages just 10.1 yards per reception with a 32-yard long. Sanu can be a threat down field and has the speed to beat plenty of corners on the fly. Give him a chance to make the big catch and blow the game open instead of a lot of little ones.
2. Knuckle up. In Syracuse's last two wins against Rutgers, the Orange totaled 13 sacks. In their last two losses, they registered just one.
3. Blow the roof off. An empty Carrier Dome is simply underwhelming. The crowd did not play a major factor in the first three home games, averaging just under 39,000 per game. If Syracuse can bring in 45,000 or more, then the crowd can be a factor.
The silent count is exactly what it sounds like. When playing in a hostile, loud environment, it is tough for the road quarterback to verbally call out to receive the snap. Instead, he uses either hand signals or physical contact with the center.
The advantage is that it counteracts crowd noise and prevents the defense from pickup up on verbal cues. The disadvantage tends to be an increase in false starts, with the outside linemen going on the center's movement and not on verbal cues.