Know Your Opponent Week 12: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)

This Years Record: 5-4 (1-4) 5th in Big Ten East

Head Coach: Kyle Flood 3rd year at Rutgers

Overall: 20-15 .571 (3rd year)

At Rutgers: 20-15

Bowls: 0-2

Last Years Record: 6-7 Lost 29-16 to Notre Dame in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Bowls Since 2000: 8 Appearances (5-3 Record)

Mascot: Scarlet Knight

Colors: Scarlet and White

Outfitter: Nike

National Titles: 1

Conference Titles: 3

Heisman Winners: 0

Fun Fact: Rutgers is the birthplace of college football. The first game was played there against Princeton in 1869. Rutgers won the game six to four and claimed their only National Title that year.

1. Which Gary Nova Will Show Up?- Rutgers senior quarterback Gary Nova is listed as probable for Saturday’s game. Given that it is senior day, it looks as if he will get the start. In 2014 Nova has thrown for 1,995 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing 58 percent of his passes. Nova leads the nation in passing yards per completion (16.2). In his career, Rutgers is 20-7 in games where Nova throws one or fewer interceptions. That’s the upside of Gary Nova. The bad news with Gary Nova is that he has throw 10 interceptions on the year, although five of them came in a loss to Penn State. Nova has thrown at least one interception in six games this year. So if quarterback Gary Nova is on his game he’ll be really good, but if he is ice cold it will be a long day for Rutgers fans.

2. Paul James’ Injury Leaves a Big Hole- Rutgers running back Paul James went under the radar to start the season, but in four games he amassed 363 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. He was also a threat in the passing game, catching four balls for 120 yards and two more scores. His absence has left a dent in the Rutgers rushing game whose leading rusher now is Desmon Peoples and is averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. Like Indiana, this injury changed the season for Rutgers.

3. Tevin Coleman Should Have Room to Run- Rutgers continues their tour of the Big Ten’s best running backs with Tevin Coleman. Coleman who was held under 100 yards for the first time in his last 10 games dating back to 2013, will be going up against a run defense that is yielding 191.6 yards per game and a whopping 5.3 yards per carry. Rutgers defensive line is not a typical Big Ten line. They are quick and athletic, but lack size. Rutgers will look to stack the box to stop the run seeing that Indiana has been lacking a real passing game since junior Nate Sudfeld went out.

4. Rutgers Loves to Throw A Good Block Party- Entering the 2014 season the Scarlet Knights led the nation in blocked kicks since 2009 with 36. This season the Scarlet Knights are second in the nation with five blocked kicks. They have blocked punts and field goals. In a game that may come down to execution on special teams, Rutgers has a dangerous weapon at their disposal and the Hoosiers must not lapse or else Rutgers could be adding to their block total.