Notes: Defending Daniels on Rutgers' mind

One of the keys for Rutgers when it hosts South Florida next Thursday will be containing dual-threat quarterback B.J. Daniels. A few of the Scarlet Knights got a look at Daniels on television and tape, and give insight into his style of play. Also, coach Greg Schiano speaks about the play of freshman running back De'Antwan Williams, and there is also a scout team injury.

Rutgers defensive end Alex Silvestro was watching South Florida beat West Virginia last week when a blur went streaking across the screen.

Turned out it was South Florida'a dual-threat quarterback B.J. Daniels, who was off on one of his mad dashes en route to rushing for 104 yards in the upset win.

"It made people look on the field like they were not moving with how fast he was going,'' Silvestro said. "This kid's got wheels on him.''

Obviously, stopping Daniels is a key for the Scarlet Knights, who host the Bulls on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Daniels, a red-shirt freshman, took over the quarterback position when Matt Grothe suffered a season-ending knee injury in the third game of the season. But the change in quarterback did nothing to alter South Florida's spread philosophy.

Daniels, who also threw for 232 yards and three touchdowns against the Mountaineers, is the Bulls' leading rusher (519 yards) and is completing 52.5 percent of his passes. He has 10 touchdown throws and six interceptions.

"We have to close the pocket,'' Silvestro said. "We can't have one person get past the quarterback, or over top of him. Even if he doesn't intend to run, he can get open and give the receivers a lot more time to get open. This kid is big and fast and strong, a good player.''

A year ago, when the Scarlet Knights punished South Florida and forced six turnovers in a 49-16 win, strong safety Joe Lefeged served as a spy on Grothe.

"I think it was effective,'' Lefeged said. "I think we were able to get the job accomplished. You have to keep your eyes on (Grothe), especially when the line is moving, you have to find him and make the tackle.''

So how does Daniels, who at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds is a bit bigger than Grothe, compare to his predecessor?

"He looks a little bigger. He's real fast,'' Lefeged said. "He's a great athlete, he's bigger, he's faster. It's going to be a hard-fought game.''

Checking in on Williams
Running back De'Antwan Williams had his first meaningful carries against Connecticut, and afterward Schiano said it would serve as a tremendous teaching point because it was the first time the true freshman played while the game was still on the line.

So, after watching the film, what did Schiano think?

"Like a lot of young backs, he is a little too quick,'' Schiano said. "When I say that, I mean you want him to be quick when he needs to be quick. You want to let it develop and then you use those burst skills.

"He is going to be fine. He is a good running back. He has good strength, power and vision. We just have to bring him along."

Injury update
Piscataway High product Marvin Booker suffered a leg injury in Wednesday's practice and didn't return. Schiano said they are still waiting to find out the extent of the injury.

Booker, a sophomore linebacker, was playing on the scout team.


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