Game Preview: Army at Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – No. 23 Rutgers returns to High Point Solutions Stadium tomorrow hungry for redemption after a brutal homecoming loss to Kent State. Facing the triple option attack of the Army Black Knights, the Scarlet Knights seek momentum heading into a decisive trio of conference games to close out the season.

Army (2-7) at No. 23 Rutgers (7-1, 4-0)

Time: 12 noon, High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, N.J.
TV/Radio: ESPNU, 710-WOR, 1450-AM, 610-WIP, 88.7 WRSU
Series: Rutgers leads 20-18
Last meeting: Nov. 12, 2011, Rutgers won 27-12
Coaches: Rutgers – Kyle Flood (1st Season, 7-1); Army – Rich Ellerson (13th season, 77-70, 4th at Army, 17-29)

Storyline Central

  • Rebound -- Rutgers needs a rebound victory in the worst way following the egg laid against Kent State on homecoming. The loss, in the scope of the BCS, was meaningless, but momentum going into the remaining trio of conference games is crucial.

  • Hurricane Sandy Aid -- There is a lot more to Saturday's game than what goes on in the gridiron. It is an opportunity for everyone in attendance to help those still in need after Hurricane Sandy. Fans have the opportunity to buy specially designed "JeRsey StRong" t-shirts for $15, where the proceeds go to charity. Fans are also encouraged to donate new or lightly-used coats to those in need or donate money by texting "REDCROSS" to 90999.

  • All Eyes on Nova -- Some earned and some unfairly placed, quarterback Gary Nova ate the brunt of the criticism after the Kent State loss and that is how he wants it. Nova declared during the bye week, "this is my team" and as the starting quarterback, he understands the responsibilities. How will Nova respond from a perplexing six-interception game?

Matchup to Watch
Army QB Trent Steelman vs. Rutgers OLB Khaseem Greene.

Wearing No. 52, Greene was all over the field in last year's victory and his 13 tackles were huge in holding Army to 12 points. Facing a healthy Steelman instead of backup Angel Santiago like last season, Greene leads an experienced front seven in stopping the triple option.

Scarlet Knights Win If…
They protect the football. Turnovers kept Army in the game last year and it is a major concern following the Kent State fiasco. Rutgers has the size, strength, athleticism and skill to dominate on both sides of the ball. Against Army's discipline, however, sloppy play can be a tremendous equalizer.

FB Larry Dixon
Black Knights Win If…
They win the offensive trench war Stopping bruising runners is not something Rutgers has done well this year. A fullback in the triple option is just that and can give the Rutgers front seven fits if tackles are broken. The 6-foot, 238-pound Larry Dixon of Army is the biggest threat this week, even more so than Steelman.


Impact Player
RB Jawan Jamison — Army gives up 219 rushing yards per game. Jamison needs 137 to hit 1,000 on the season. The Rutgers offensive line outweighs Army's defensive line by 53 pounds on average. Look for a ground and pound assault to limit Nova's responsibilities in a bounce-back game.

RB Jawan Jamison
Something to Prove
QB Gary Nova — Flood stuck with Nova through six interceptions against Kent State. It is clear that the quarterback job belongs to Nova and the sophomore from Don Bosco Prep will have to prove why against Army. He has a five-touchdown win over Arkansas under his belt and now a six-interception loss. Which Nova will show up tomorrow?

Looking to Build
WR Miles Shuler — Shuler looked electric with the ball in his hands on his first and second career receptions. Now that he has it out of the way, he can move forward and likely get more involved in the final stretch of the season.

Freshman to Watch
DT Darius Hamilton — Hamilton saw the triple option just once in his life – playing Ridgewood High with Don Bosco last year. With responsibilities building for the 18-year old 3-tech, Hamilton could be in for a big day against an offensive line that does not have the usual size advantage over him. Prediction: 24-13 Rutgers

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