Preview: Rutgers at Army

NEW YORK -- Rutgers earned bowl eligibility last week, but has a chance to build major momentum going into the final two conference games of the year. With Chas Dodd starting at quarterback, the Scarlet Knights take on the Black Knights of Army in what will be an emotionally meaningful game tomorrow at Yankee Stadium.

Rutgers (6-3, 3-2) at Army (3-6)

Time: 3:35 p.m., Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.
TV/Radio: CBS Sports, 710-WOR, 1450-AM, 97.5 FM, 88.7 WRSU
Series: Rutgers leads 19-18
Last meeting: Oct. 16, 2010: Rutgers won, 23-20, OT
Coaches: Rutgers – Greg Schiano (11th season, 65-66); Army – Rich Ellerson (3rd season at Army, 15-19, 12th overall season, 75-60)


  • Kneel Before Dodd.After a month on the bench, Chas Dodd returns as the Scarlet Knights' starting quarterback. Gary Nova's struggles last week led to a fourth-quarter change and improbable comeback victory. Schiano said Dodd will start — he beat Army last season — but that Nova will be ready to go if a change becomes necessary.

  • Elite Juniors. Receiver Mohamed Sanu and linebacker Khaseem Greene are arguably the top players on either side of the ball in the Big East. Sanu, who had another game with double-digit catches, has 81 receptions, 844 yards and seven touchdowns this year. He stands just 11 catches away from Larry Fitzgerald's Big East record. Defensively, Greene recorded 17 tackles last week and is up to a conference-best 92 on the season.

  • More Than a Game. Tomorrow's kickoff at Yankee Stadium has added meaning for both teams. Between the Army support for Eric LeGrand after last year's injury and general for the military, Rutgers looks forward to honoring Army in Yankee Stadium with its special American flag helmets. In a dark week for college football, class and integrity will be on display in the Bronx.

Scouting Army

Offensively, Army represents another battle with the triple option. Rutgers experienced success against Navy, surrendering just 13 offensive points and holding the Midshipmen to a season-worst 162 rushing yards. Army opperates slightly differently than Navy within its offense, but the idea is the same. Rutgers needs to stick to its assignments, play smart and be prepared for the pass. Army has questions at quarterback this week with starter Trent Steelman battling injuries. Backup Max Jenkins has just a 22 percent passing clip this season.

Quarterback Trent Steelman
In the running game, the talented Raymond Maples leads the way with 891 yards on just 121 attempts — 7.4 per carry. Malcolm Brown, who was on the other end of LeGrand's injury last year at the Meadowlands, is second among backs with 406 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The Army defense surrenders 30 points per game against Division I opponents out of primarily a double-eagle flex formation

Matchup to Watch
Rutgers receiver Mohamed Sanu vs. Army cornerback Josh Jackson. Receiver size gives a tremendous passing advantage to the Scarlet Knights. Jackson is Army's tallest cornerback, standing at 6-foot. With Sanu on a hot streak and 6-foot-6 Brandon Coleman building confidence, the Army secondary is in trouble.

What Rutgers Must Do Offensively
Protect Dodd.One of the few advantages Nova has over Dodd at this moment is the ability to escape pressure. With Dodd back as the starter, the offensive line needs to give him enough time to find his receivers down the field. Army sacked Dodd eight times last season and held Rutgers to 17 regulation points.

What Rutgers Must Do Defensively
Watch Out for the Run.Greg Schiano and the Rutgers defense have success against Daniels in two career appearances, but the sneaky run-game got the better of the Scarlet Knights last year. With so much attention on a mobile quarterback, the defensive line needs to prevent the running backs from moving the chains. Rutgers uncharacteristically gave up 157 rushing yards in Tampa, Fla., last season.

Three keys for a Rutgers win
Chas Dodd
1. Limit Turnovers. Though with a different quarterback, turnovers nearly cost Rutgers the game against Navy. Army will look to cause similar problems for the Scarlet Knights.

2. Find a Way to Run the Ball. Losing Savon Huggins, Rutgers simply has another question to answer in finding a way to get the running game going. The Scarlet Knights cannot finish strong without getting the remaining running backs going.

3. Learn From Navy. The Rutgers defense held Navy to a season low in rushing yards, but was far from perfect. Facing a similar offense, Rutgers needs to stay awake against the Army passing game and prevent the fullback from any gashing runs up the middle.

Three keys for an Army win
1. Learn From Navy. If not for special-teams heroics by Brandon Jones, the 21-20 Rutgers victory against Navy may never have been. Army needs to review that tape, find the same weaknesses and exploit them.

2. Stuff the Run. Rutgers still has no identity in the run game. When Rutgers has to pass the ball 40 or more times, it means trouble for the Scarlet Knights.

3. Play for 60 Minutes. The Black Knights built a 14-0 lead on Air Force last week before crumbling. Against Rutgers last year, they surrendered 14 points in the fourth quarter to lose in overtime. A strong start is not enough for a victory.

Rutgers 27, Army 10

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