Like most people who follow college football, Rutgers knows how difficult the Navy triple-option offense can be to defend. The Knights play Navy almost every year. Still, when the Rutgers players found out Navy put up 605 yards of offense at Connecticut the previous week (before beating Air Force to go to 5-1 Saturday), they took notice.
"That gets your attention," said defensive end Jamaal Westerman.
There are some who believe Rutgers only made it to 5-0 (1-0 Big East) because of its soft schedule. There are some who will look at a win over Navy as more of the same.
But Navy is 5-1, the Middies are playing at home and this will be a major test for the Scarlet Knights in their attempt to advance in the Top 25.
And don't forget, Rutgers qualifies for its second straight bowl game with its next victory.
Notes and Quotes
GAME BALL GOES TO: The honorary game ball, during this off week, should go to RB Ray Rice, who seems to deserve one every week.
KEEP AN EYE ON: QB Mike Teel - His coach, Greg Schiano, stands firmly behind him, but the numbers say Teel is currently as shaky as it gets among D-1 quarterbacks. The ability is there, the results haven't been.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I didn't know it was going to be like this. I knew the program would eventually get turned around but I didn't know the media attention would be like this. This is what the USCs get. And they get even more because it's every day, every year." - Rutgers FB Brian Leonard, on the attention his team is getting after a 5-0 start.
Strategy and Personnel
LOOKING GOOD: RB Ray Rice -- You never hear his name mentioned, but why isn't this guy a Heisman candidate? He could be after gaining 806 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns in the first five games of the season. Rice was named Big East offensive player of the week for his 202-yard game at South Florida. He tied JJ Jennings' school record of seven straight 100-yard games and three career 200-yard efforts.
PK Jeremy Ito - He kicked a career-long 53-yard field goal and also had 32- and 40-yarders in the win. He did have one blocked, a 42-yarder that almost helped send the game to overtime, but earned a spot on the Big East's weekly honor roll. Ito is 6-for-8 on field-goal attempts this season.
FB Brian Leonard - Catching a pass in his 39th straight game, Leonard moved to within a game of matching West Virginia's Khori Ivy's all-time Big East record in the win at South Florida. TE Clark Harris caught a pass for the 35th straight game at Tampa.
STILL NEEDS WORK: QB Mike Teel - The numbers have been poor, right near the bottom of all D-1 quarterbacks in terms of efficiency rating, but Greg Schiano is firmly behind his passer. "I think Mike is getting better," Schiano said. "I think he is seeing things better."
ROSTER REPORT: The Scarlet Knights used the bye week to heal their bumps and bruises.
Leonard, who suffered a hip pointer on USF's onside kick at the end of the game, will play at Navy.