Time: 7:31 p.m., Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
TV/Radio: ESPN, 710-WOR, 1450-AM, 610-WIP, 88.7 WRSU
Series: Rutgers leads 5-2
Last meeting: Nov., 5, 2011: Rutgers won,20-17, OT
Coaches: Rutgers – Kyle Flood (1st Season, 2-0); USF – Skip Holtz (15th season 87-62, 3rd season at USF 15-12)
- Put Up or Shut Up.Rutgers and coach Kyle Flood have been highly outspoken about the goal of winning the Big East this season. South Florida is the most important game in the first half of the season in terms of reaching that goal. Rutgers traditionally has USF's number and needs to stop the Bulls and open conference play in the win column.
- Passing Woes. Whether it is the scheme, Gary Nova or his receivers, the passing game has been a disappointment through two games. Likely a combination in all three areas, the passing game won it for Rutgers in last year's contest with late heroics by Chas Dodd. It needs to be more consistent tonight to make it two in a row.
- Injuries. Rutgers suffered a slew of significant injuries against Howard and starters on both sides of the ball are questionable tonight for kickoff. Offensive linemen Andre Civil and Betim Bujari and running back Savon Huggins are all hurt offensively. Defensively, starting defensive end Marcus Thompson is questionable.
The South Florida offense has been the B.J. Daniels show for four years now and Rutgers has had his number every time. Daniels is 1-2 against Rutgers in three starts with unimpressive totals. Completing 46 percent of his passes, Daniels has 448 passing yards, 90 rushing yards, four interceptions and three touchdowns. Cornerbacks Logan Ryan and Brandon Jones have their hands full in big-play receiver Andre Davis, who caught a 56-yard touchdown pass to beat Nevada in the final minute.
|Quarterback B.J. Daniels|
|QB Gary Nova|
2. Special Teams Execution. We say this every week, but it always factors into the marquee Rutgers victories. With Flood seeking a first marquee win, a special teams play can go a long way. Jeremy Deering and Miles Shuler have already made their presences felt. Who is next?
3. Convert on Easy Opportunities. Botched extra points, red-zone turnovers and missed short field goals cannot happen if Rutgers wants to win big games.
2. Daniels to Davis. The Daniels and Davis connection won it for USF in Nevada. Put the ball in the hands of your best play-makers and trust them to beat out the tough Rutgers defense.
3. Mental Toughness. USF has to be completely exhausted after a brutal game on the other side of the country five days ago. The team got home at 4 a.m. Sunday and has had practice and class to get through all week.