By Matt Sugam
1. Can Rutgers avoid a letdown?
This game sets up perfectly for it to happen. Rutgers is 7-0, ranked No. 15 in the BCS standings, and has a bye week after the game. Taking a three week break from Big East play in the middle of the season, they face a solid 6-1 MAC team in Kent State. It’s a game the Golden Flashes have had circled on their calendar, and the Scarlet Knights have to make sure it doesn’t put a blemish on their dream season.
2. Can Rutgers contain Dri Archer?
Kyle Flood said he’s the most dynamic offensive player in college football. And he was saying so for good reason. Just look at the numbers: 10.1 yards per carry with two touchdowns on 68 rushes. 13.9 yards per reception and three touchdowns on 20 catches. One 24-yard throw for a touchdown. 47.5 yards per return and three touchdowns on 11 kick returns. He’s a game-changing speedster that Rutgers needs to contain so he doesn’t break the game open for Kent State.
3. Can Rutgers get some style points?
Head coach Kyle Flood has said he’s not worried about them. But after sitting at No. 15 in the first two weeks of the BCS standings, style points wouldn’t hurt. No, a blowout of Kent State won’t vault Rutgers up the rankings, but it would look a lot better than squeaking by an inferior opponent.
This game’s key player is…
Middle linebacker Steve Beauharnais
Since Archer lines up at running back, wide receiver and quarterback, the defense’s primary job pre-snap is locating where he is. As the quarterback of the defense, it’s Beauharnais’ job to make sure the defense is lined up correctly, and make all the defensive calls, setting up the stunts and front.
The sophisticated fan will be watching…
The back ups
If Rutgers takes care of business like they should, this game will be over for all intents and purposes early in the third quarter, if not sooner. Soon after the game is in hand, the back ups will get the most reps they have had since the Howard game, showing what they can do when the lights go on.
Fourth and short
Darrell Hazell was on Rutgers coaching staff when Greg Schiano first took over. After leaving for Ohio State after the 2003 season, this will be his first trip back to the Banks.
Quote of the week
“This is their Championship game. This is like us playing an SEC school.” – Beauharnais on Kent State