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.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Losses last week by West Virginia and Rutgers killed the chances of this week's game being a battle of top-25 teams. The competition, however, will be just as fierce with Rutgers seeking hold onto second place, or possibly take the lead in the conference with a Cincinnati loss and victory against the Mountaineers.

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 — Who else? Even in a poor passing performance like Louisville last week, Sanu still caught 10 passes, went over 100 yards and scored a touchdown. With six games left to play, he likely shatters Larry Fitzgerald's Big East record.

2. WLB Khaseem Greene — Green's move to linebacker is the keystone of a series of moves to improve team speed in the offseason. Leading the Big East in tackles through seven games, Greene is critical to stopping Andrew Buie and the West Virginia run game.

Mohamed Sanu
3. FS David Rowe — Rowe's interception on Louisville's penultimate drive gave the Scarlet Knights a fighting chance. Playing safety this season, Rowe is better suited to provide help deep than go 1-on-1 as a cornerback against the speedy WVU receivers.

4. CB Logan Ryan — The team's top cornerback has his hands full against Tavon Austin and the Mountaineers' deep group of receivers.

5. DT Justin Francis — Moving Francis to tackle was not done to increase team speed, but the fifth-year senior is halfway through his best season on the Banks. Blocking an extra point last week, Francis' special teams impact is another reason for defenses to fear him.

Who has the most to prove?
1. K San San Te — Missing four straight field goals, Te needs a rebound at some point. Two of his misses were chip-shots and the fifth-year senior has half a season to turn things around.

2. WR Mark Harrison — No one was harder on Harrison than himself after the brutal drop against Louisville. Harrison will have to prove to the team that he can still be counted on to make the big catch.

San San Te
3. QB Gary Nova — Nova threw five interceptions in his last two games. After losing his first football game in more than four years, how will he respond?

4. RG Art Forst — Forst when from starting and performing well against Navy to splitting reps with Betim Bujari against Louisville. .

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

Looking to build
1. TE D.C. Jefferson — Jefferson is looking more like a tight end each week. In Frank Cingetti's offense, tight ends need to have big games.

2. QB Chas Dodd — Looking to build on a great week of practice, Dodd's arm will be well-rested if he gets into the game in any capacity behind Nova.

Miles Shuler
3. WR Miles Shuler — Shuler got in for two plays against Louisville. On the first, he set two linebackers off balance on a fake reverse. On the second, he was past a cornerback in a second and would have had six points with a better placed throw.

4. DE Marvin Booker — The junior is back in action after missing half the season with injuries.

5. DE Jamil Merrell — As Merrell continues to heal from his foot injury, he is seeing more and more time in pass-rushing situations on the defensive line.

Poised for a breakout
Brandon Coleman
WR Brandon Coleman — Nova and Coleman are eventually going to reconnect. The two connected on the second longest play of the season week one, but a series of poor passes and drops has Coleman in a rut. With 6-foot-6 size and 4.4 speed, it is only a matter of time for the ultra-athletic Coleman to make an impact.

Freshman worth watching
Kaleb Johnson
RT Kaleb Johnson — The offensive line is improving each week, both in rushing yards per game and sacks allowed. The Florida freshman is a big part of that. Senior Desmond Stapleton continues to fight for increased playing time, but Johnson's athleticism at tackle is unique to this line.


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