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.

Louisville, Ky. — Rutgers is in first place in the Big East. Big wins against ACC defectors Syracuse and Pittsburgh. The Scarlet Knights now take a 5-1 overall record against the 2-4 Louisville Cardinals with a chance at bowl eligibility and a top 25 ranking.

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 — On pace to shatter the Big East's receptions record set by Larry Fitzgerald, Sanu shredded the Louisville defense as a true freshman and can get into fifth place in Rutgers history in receptions with nine tonight against the Cards.

2. WLB Khaseem Greene — Greene has nearly twice as many tackles as anyone else on the Rutgers defense and leads the conference. The converted safety leads "the swarm" on defense against a balance Louisville attack.

Brandon Jones
3. FB Joe Martinek — Master of the first down, "Jersey Joe" averages 7.6 yards per rush and 12.5 yards per reception.

4. CB Brandon Jones — After a pick and a blocked field goal last week, Jones and Logan Ryan are quickly becoming a team of impact starters at cornerback.

5. DT Scott Vallone — Vallone was everywhere against Navy and his strong presence in the trenches allows for big plays across the board for the Rutgers front seven.

Who has the most to prove?
1. QB Gary Nova — Nova has done enough to not lose games as the team's quarterback. But sooner or later, Nova will have to make plays to win games.

2. RB Savon Huggins — Fumbles continue to be an issue for the true freshman. He leads the team in rushing touchdowns, but has two red-zone turnovers.

Savon Huggins
3. RG Antwan Lowery — Lowery went from starting to not seeing the field within one week.

4. WR Miles Shuler — Greg Schiano made it clear that Shuler is healthy and will not red-shirt this week. Whenever he gets a shot in a game, he is going to have to play ready and play fast.

5. TE Paul Carrezola — Carrezola has not been a major factor since his first career touchdown.

Looking to build
1. RG Art Forst — Forst went from starting half of his games as a true freshman, taking over a week before the team's eight-game winning streak, to being a non-factor throughout training camp of his senior season. Schiano and offensive line coach Kyle Flood gave him a shot against Navy and he played well enough to keep his first-team position through practice this week. He is expected to start tonight.

2. WR Tim Wright — Wright caught another touchdown last week and is showing fewer and fewer signs of his torn ACL from14 months ago.

Quron Pratt
3. DE Marcus Thompson — The sophomore defensive end started against Navy and registered three tackles, including one for loss.

4. WR Quron Pratt — Pratt followed up a great blocking performance against Pittsburgh with a touchdown catch Saturday in the corner of the south end-zone.

5. RB Jawan Jamison — The red-shirt freshman exceeded 100 yards for the first time in his career, but left a lot on the table last week against Navy.

Poised for a breakout
Joe Martinek
FB Joe Martinek — Martinek's role in the offense continues to increase based on leadership, reliability and execution. Martinek moved the chains well the last two weeks and, as a game captain this week, is in good position to make plays against Louisville in a hostile environment.

Freshman worth watching
Gary Nova
QB Gary Nova — All eyes fall on the true freshmen quarterbacks dueling tonight in Louisville. Nova, who is 2-0 as a starter and 5-0 in games where he took a snap this season, has 683 yards and six touchdowns this season. As a starter, Nova has four touchdowns, two interceptions and 445 yards.


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