One block away. One block away. It is repeated time and again by the Scarlet Knights when asked to explain the running game's inconsistency.
In three Big East games, the Scarlet Knights rushed for 174 yards on 84 carries, an average of 2.1 yards per attempt, heading into Thursday's meeting with No. 23 South Florida at Rutgers Stadium.
When it comes to offensive precision, busting a big play is often one block away. But eight games into the season, what do the Scarlet Knights have to do to keep the one block from being missed?
"Whatever it is that goes through somebody's head at that moment, it usually is that one block away,'' Scarlet Knights right tackle Kevin Haslam said.
The Bulls (6-2) struggled to stop the run this season. They rank 54th nationally (130.6 ypg), and Wofford (177 yards), Western Kentucky (200), Cincinnati (189) and Pittsburgh (214) each had success running the ball.
Scarlet Knights center Ryan Blaszczyk delved a little deeper than stating the proclivity of one missed block for the inconsistent running game.
"We're not really moving (the defensive line) as much as we want to,'' Blaszczyk said. "We need to finish them. (It is) hat placement, footwork, technique and …finishing our blocks.''
Containing Superman, aka Daniels
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano says there is much more to stopping South Florida's offense than quarterback B.J. Daniels, but there certainly has been plenty of talk about the fast and strong-armed red-shirt freshman.
So much so, it seems like in addition to playing football, Daniels leaps tall buildings, is more powerful than a locomotive, and all that stuff.
"He's electrifying,'' Rutgers junior linebacker Antonio Lowery said. "He's a really, really good quarterback. I'm putting it on the record -- he's going to be one of the best quarterbacks I've ever played against; running, throwing, he can break on dime.
"If a play breaks down, he can make something out of nothing.''
Schiano said sophomore linebacker Marvin Booker, who injured his knee, is headed for surgery and a lengthy rehab. He played against Howard, and may be eligible to red-shirt.
"He'll probably miss spring ball,'' Schiano said.
Also, special teams player Colin McEvoy recently had surgery and is out. His brother, Tanner, a junior at Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.), already holds a Rutgers offer.
Offensive lineman Desmond Stapleton (ankle) is not expected to play against the Bulls.