Who Has the Edge in the Rutgers-USF game?

Are you wondering where the advantage for each team lies in the Rutgers-USF matchup this week? Then SOR has you covered. We take a look at everything from offense, defense, and special teams to coaching and intangibles as we let you know Who Has the Edge.

The Bulls have a balanced offensive attack and can beat teams on the ground and through the air. Quarterback Matt Grothe makes things happen with his feet and is USF's leading rusher this year. USF averages 35.17 points per game and has scored at least 35 points in three games this season.

Rutgers has been unable to force the opposition into mistakes this year and is minus 1 in turnover margin. The Scarlet Knights have been victimized on the ground the last three weeks, allowing an average of 167 yards per game rushing in that time span. Rutgers owns one of the best pass defenses in the nation, yielding 157.7 yards per game and six touchdowns while grabbing six interceptions.

Edge: Draw

Rutgers boasts quick-strike ability in the passing game, with 21 of its 35 scoring drives consuming less than three minutes on the game clock. Tiquan Underwood, Kenny Britt and Tim Brown form a killer receiving trio, and running back Ray Rice is averaging 136.3 yards per game on the ground with 13 touchdowns. Quarterback Mike Teel is the fifth-rated passer in college football and has completed more than 60 percent of his passes while throwing 12 touchdowns to six interceptions.

USF has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 14 straight games. The last player to hit that mark was Rutgers running back Ray Rice, who ran for 202 yards against the Bulls last season. USF has 21 takeaways and is plus 8 in turnover margin and leads the Big East with 20 sacks. The Bulls also possess the 15th-rated pass defense in college football, allowing 178 yards per game through the air.

Edge: USF

USF's field goal unit is its Achilles heel. Kicker Delbert Alvarado has made only 58.3 percent of his attempts and missed four of six kicks at Auburn last month. He is better in the punting game, averaging 43.4 yard per punt.

Rutgers place-kicker Jeremy Ito solid in the field goal department, hitting nine of his 12 field goal attempts and all 28 extra points. Last week's 45-yard attempt that went wide was his first miss since the season opener. As a punter, Ito averages 35.3 yards, last in the Big East.

Edge: Rutgers

USF head coach Jim Leavitt literally built a program out of nothing, beginning in Division I-AA and making the leap to Division I-A and the national stage soon thereafter. He has the only undefeated team in the state of Florida, is in national championship contention and is an early candidate for coach of the year honors.

Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano performed a job that was perhaps more difficult than building from scratch: resurrecting a moribund program that was worse than half of the teams in Division I-AA. Rutgers is on target for its third straight bowl game, and Schiano is the reigning coach of the year.

Edge: Rutgers

USF is riding a wave of public notoriety after debuting at No. 2 in the BCS standings this week. The Bulls won at Auburn and dismantled West Virginia at home this season. This team is playing with confidence and swagger reminiscent of the old Miami Hurricanes squads.

Rutgers got back in the win column with a rout of Syracuse last week, but the Scarlet Knights have not won at home since Sept. 15. They still have plenty of question marks on the defensive side of the ball. However, RU will be bolstered by a sellout crowd that is sure to bring plenty of noise.

Edge: USF

USF made the leap from Division I-A to Conference USA to the Big East in short order. The Bulls were clearly the biggest winners of the Big East realignment a few years ago. USF is bowl eligible for the third consecutive year and now has the highest BCS ranking ever for a current Big East team. The Bulls notched their first-ever bowl victory last season.

Rutgers is on pace to qualify for its third consecutive bowl game and came a whisker away from winning the Big East last year. The Scarlet Knights, who have been ranked in the top 10 twice over the past two seasons, are 22-9 since the beginning of the 2005 season and claimed their first-ever bowl win last year.

Edge: Draw

Scarlet Report Top Stories