Girault Likely To Be Back in Action

Rutgers safety Ron Girault should be available to play against No. 13 Connecticut this Saturday. It appears likely that the veteran leader of the secondary will be back in action for the first time since injuring his leg in an earlier contest versus Maryland.

Girault is very valuable to Rutgers as he is in charge of ensuring the defensive signals are distributed properly and that everyone is where they need to be on the field. It's a duty that can certainly be performed by others, but like many things in life, it's one where experience lends an upper hand.

"He [Girault] looked a little sore today," Coach Schiano said.

A player that has stepped in for Girault and played well is freshman Joe Lefeged. On the season, Lefeged has posted 23 tackles and three and a half sacks, in addition to several highlight pops that have reminded fans of the hard-hitting Zaire Kitchen.

Lefeged was the No. 23 safety prospect among incoming freshmen, coming out of Germantown, MD. In high school, he was multitalented, playing quarterback, linebacker, running back, wide receiver, and returned punts as well as kicks.

"Athletic, speed, can uncoil, so those things [he can do] and he is an instinctual player," Coach Schiano added.

Rutgers (5-3, 2-2) holds the series edge against Connecticut (7-1, 3-0) 18-8, but the Huskies have won three of the last five meetings.

UConn is just another example of a Big East team coming out of nowhere and earning some of the national spotlight. Rutgers, South Florida, and now Connecticut are all teams that were not very well thought of in terms of football merely a few years back, but all three schools have made a national impact.

"I have been saying this since day one when this league was reformed, from top to bottom it is competitive," Teel said. "If you don't bring you're a-game week in and week out against these teams, you're going home with a loss."

Rutgers will look to contain UConn quarterback Tyler Lorenzen, who only has 183 net rushing yards but does have 92 carries, which is only 16 rushes less than Huskies starting running back Andre Dixon. Lorenzen does have 403 yards on the ground coupled with the 183 yards for loss. It is important to note that negative yardage accrued due to sacks count against quarterbacks' rushing total.

UConn's only loss this season came on the road against Virginia 17-16, a game in which the Huskies had the lead deep into the fourth quarter.

"They are playing with a lot of swagger and a lot of confidence," Rutgers defensive tackle Eric Foster said. "They are playing pretty good football. We need to match their intensity and have more intensity than them."

Connecticut and Rutgers have had a history of playing toughly contested games. Rutgers will have to limit turnovers as the Huskies are among the nation's best in takeaways. A source of concern all season has been the fullback position. Jack Corcoran, Andres Morales, and Jean Beljour have all played started at different points this season. Coach Schiano has not found a reliable source yet and will continue to try a mix of personnel.

"When you have one, you don't keep having a sweepstakes," Coach Schiano said. "We are not producing at the position."

Rutgers will be playing in a tough environment when they visit Storrs. UConn's fans have really gotten behind the nationally-ranked Huskies this season, as they should. The upcoming contest for Rutgers marks only the second time during the 2007 campaign that the Scarlet Knights have gone on the road.

"Where ever you go, you expect the fans to be against you," Rutgers running back Ray Rice said. "It is great to play in hostile environments, everything is going to be against us. We just have to go up there with a business man mentality."

Scarlet Report Top Stories