Time: 7:04 p.m., High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, N.J.
TV/Radio: ESPN3.com, 710-WOR, 1450-AM, 97.5 FM, 88.7 WRSU
Series: Rutgers leads 4-2
Last meeting: Nov. 3, 2010: South Florida won, 28-27
Coaches: Rutgers – Greg Schiano (11th season, 64-66); South Florida – Skip Holtz (2nd season at USF, 12-8, 12th overall season, 84-58)
- Quarterback Struggles.Gary Nova remains Rutgers' starting quarterback despite turnover issues. The true freshman took over for Chas Dodd midway through the Syracuse game, but will be on a short leash this week if the turnovers continue .
- Winter Weather. The Scarlet Knights showed last week they can play at a high level in any conditions, scoring 31 points against West Virginia in a snowstorm. South Florida, which has yet to play a game in under-60-degree weather, faces colder conditions on a November night in Piscataway.
- USF in Piscataway. The last two appearances by South Florida at Rutgers were momentum-building victories for the Scarlet Knights. In 2007, Rutgers beat the No. 2 ranked Bulls 30-27 behind a fake field goal pass from Andrew Depaola and 69-yard touchdown by Tiquan Underwood. In 2009, Rutgers blanked B.J. Daniels and the Bulls 31-0 on Thursday night, with big performances from Joe Martinek (128 yards and a touchdown) and Mohamed Sanu (105 yards and a touchdown).
Offensively, quarterback B.J. Daniels represents a dual threat that Rutgers successfully defended in the past. Rutgers shut out Daniels the last time he played in Piscataway and fared relatively well against him in last year's 28-27 loss at Raymond James Stadium. In two games against Rutgers, Daniels completed 50 percent of his passes for two touchdowns and three interceptions. On the ground, he averages just over one yard per carry after factoring in sacks. South Florida is another Big East team with a sneaky running game that burned Rutgers in the past. Mo Plancher, who broke out for 135 yards last year, is gone but sophomore Demitris Murray represents a similar threat.
|Quarterback B.J. Daniels|
2. Don't abandon the run. Schiano said it himself after the loss, Rutgers should have stuck to the run in the second half against WVU. Jawan Jamison had the best game of his career last week and instead of giving him the ball trailing by three points, Rutgers went for the deep ball the entire fourth quarter.
3. Don't Shy Away from Trick Plays. Though because the fake field goal failed last week, Rutgers has a high success rate in its trick plays and should not hesitate to whip out one or two Saturday night to become bowl eligible.
2. Lock on Sanu. Though other receivers like Tim Wright and Quron Pratt continue to find success, USF has to force those unproven wideouts to make plays instead of leaving Sanu in 1-on-1 coverage, where he consistently beats defenders.
3. Two-Minute Defense. USF jumped off to an early lead against Cincinnati two weeks ago, but surrendered 20 fourth-quarter points in a loss to the Bearcats, including the winning touchdown drive in the final 90 seconds.