Rutgers vs. Syracuse Preview

By Matt Sugam

Three and out

1. How will Rutgers secondary fair against Ryan Nassib?

Rutgers’ secondary was lauded as one of the best in the country in the preseason. They haven’t exactly lived up to the hype quite yet, giving up 236.2 yards per game. However, Rutgers does have 10 interceptions on the year. Now they face the most productive passer in the Big East in Ryan Nassib. There’s no better time then Saturday for Rutgers vaunted secondary to live up to their preseason billing.

2. Can Rutgers defensive line get some sacks?

They’ve hit the quarterback a lot this season. It’s just after he’s released the ball most times. With only nine sacks on the season, the defense is hungry for a game were they rack up some sacks. And they’re convinced it’s coming soon enough. They wouldn’t mind if Nassib was the tackling dummy.

3. How will Rutgers fair against Syracuse’s blitz?

Rutgers hasn’t given up a “true sack” yet this season. (The three sacks they’ve given up are on intentional grounding). Syracuse likes to blitz. A lot. In turn, this will be the offensive lines toughest test of the season as far as pass protection. And Gary Nova hopes they keep him off his backside.

This games key player is…

Rutgers’ kicker

Whoever it is. With Kyle Fedirco’s status uncertain, the kicking game was the focus of the week. Even if Federico’s limited to just field goals and extra points, he hasn’t kicked at practice this week which could become an issue. If he’s out, Nick DeLouisa — who kicked and missed his only extra point try he had against UConn — Nick Borgese and recently added walk-on Joe Behnke are the other place kickers on the roster. To it simply, Rutgers doesn’t want this game coming down to a game winning kick.

The sophisticated fan will be watching…

The penalties

Rutgers is ranked No. 1 in the country in penalties with 51 through five games. Fortunately for the Scarlet Knights, it hasn’t cost them a game yet. But it feels it’s only a matter of time until it does if they don’t start to clean up their over 10 penalties a game average.

Fourth and short

This is the final time Rutgers will player Syracuse for quite some time as the Orange leave for the ACC after this year.

Quote of the week

“5-0 is not nothing right now. I’ll be satisfied when we’re 13-0 and at the end of the season we can look back and we can say we had a perfect year, but right now I’m not satisfied. None of us are satisfied. We’re happy the way we’ve been playing. There’s room for improvement, but if we don’t reach our ultimate goal then being 5-0 means nothing.” – Rutgers defensive end Ka’lial Glaud

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