No. 23 Rutgers vs. Army Preview

By Matt Sugam

Three and out

1. How will Rutgers rebound after their first loss?

They had the Hurricane Sandy infringed bye week to let it stew. The loss to Kent State was shocking to say the least. And it put an end to the dream season of going undefeated. But this is a veteran team that has a singular goal in mind. Win the Big East for the first time in school history and go to a BCS Bowl. While this game has no affect on those circumstances, they want to prove they were the team everyone thought they were before their first loss of the season.

2. How will Rutgers do against the triple option?

In all likely hood, just fine. Yes, this is a unique offense that only four teams in the country run. So while it’s hard to prepare for, this is a veteran defense and a team that has seen the triple option offense four times since 2009. No, they won’t completely shut down the No. 1 rushing offense in the contry. But they should be able to contain them.

3. Can Gary Nova bounce back?

He had the worst game of his career against Kent State, throwing six interceptions. While the loss was far from just his fault – the only one on the team that performed to his usual standard was Jawan Jamison – Nova shouldered the blame. While he insists his confidence isn’t shaken, we don’t really know until Saturday.

This games key player is…

Strong safety Lorenzo Waters

He’s the strong safety, so naturally he’s the guy in the secondary that comes down in the box most to help stop the run. He’s also the most inexperienced guy in Rutgers secondary. It will be interesting to see how he handles going against the run heavy triple option for the first time

The sophisticated fan will be watching

The pitches

If Army throws the ball double digits in a game, it’s a lot. So there’s not many opportunities for interceptions. Still, the ball is in the air a lot with the pitches. And those are the best times for Rutgers to cause and recover a fumble.

Fourth and short

Rutgers has only had a two 1,000 yard rushers since 1975. With just 137 yards to go, Jawan Jamison could be the third guy to do it in the last 37 years.

Quote of the week

“Those guys, they protect our country and they hit real hard. They’re a tough group and I think if you put on the tape anybody can see that and if you don’t think so you must be blind because these guys come off the ball and they really hit you, so it’s going to hurt a little bit.” –  Middle linebacker Steve Beauharnais on Army

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