With a losing streak against the Bearcats dating back to 2006, that focus is necessary.
"[The standings] are around, but we're just focused on one game at a time and caught in preparation today and this week," said sophomore cornerback Logan Ryan. "I know that we need to treat every game like it's a championship game and we need to win this one."
In a conference where 5-2 can legitimately send a team to the BCS, Rutgers (7-3, 3-2) knows what it needs to do for the final two conference games.
"Everyone is saying ‘remember November' that's one thing that we've been saying around here," said quarterback Chas Dodd. "The games that we're going to be playing throughout this month are really big games in where they can take us. It's just exciting this whole time."
Battle with a Backup
"This guy is big," said head coach Greg Schiano. "I mean, he is 6-foot-5, 205 pounds. He's a legitimate big man. Just because you're there doesn't mean you're going to get him down. When you watch the West Virginia tape, he runs some people over. That 60-something-yard run, he ran over three people. So it's a little different."
Rutgers has limited film on Legaux, with primarily just his off-the bench performance last week to view.
Against the Mountaineers, he was 10-for-21 for 144 yards passing and ran for 77 yards.
"There is no question that he is a good quarterback," Ryan said. "From what we've seen, we know he can play. We aren't taking him lightly because if we do that, he beats us."
Harrison played just one snap last week because of missed practice time (head injury), but he should be good to go for the Bearcats.
"I think Mark will be fine," Schiano said.
Dodd, who hit Harrison 10 times for 240 yards and four touchdown against Cincinnati last year, cannot wait to get him back.
"It's huge, we did have a great game last year against Cincinnati," Dodd said. "Mark, it's good to have him back. He's had a tough time with his injury, but now that he's back, he's going to be great. I know he's excited to get back and I know he's going to be working hard. We need another guy that's going to be in there getting reps and making catches."
Building up to San San Te's Senior Day, Schiano said the kicker still has technical issues to work out. He missed an extra point and short field goal against Army. The fifth-year senior also went through a stretch of missing four in a row earlier in the season.
"This is an experienced guy," Schiano said. "Sometimes it's kind of like a golfer in the middle of a round. You can't fix it, but if you get on the range and you work the kinks out — he knows what the problem is, he's just got to get it grooved out."
Will this be Sanu's Last Home Game?
Let the NFL chatter begin for Sanu. He fielded the question in a media setting for the first time yesterday, and swiftly deflected it with his focus remaining on Saturday and not the offseason.
"It hasn't really crossed my mind at all," Sanu said. "I'm just focused on helping my team win this Big East and just going from there and taking it one game at a time to win this game."