Potential Bowl Foes: Rutgers of the Big East

Rich Schultz

A look at a potential BBVA Compass Bowl foe, Rutgers, should the reported Liberty Bowl deal collapse. A look at the anything but surging Scarlett Knights.

While reports make it sound more likely for Mississippi State to wind up in the Liberty Bowl instead of the BBVA Compass Bowl, nothing will be official until bowl committees announce their selections over the weekend.

Should the reported deal to send Mississippi State to the Liberty Bowl fall through, the Bulldogs would slide to the BBVA Compass Bowl and face a team out of the Big East. One of the candidates to be that opponent is Rutgers. Kevin Recio of On the Banks, the Rutgers SB Nation site, shared some information about the Scarlett Knights.

1) Rutgers comes into the matchup against USF with a coach in Kyle Flood that many fans would be fine to see leave, and they need a win for bowl eligibility. How important is this game for Flood and for Rutgers?


Kyle Flood already lost to a terrible UConn team, so I'm not sure this game has any importance left for his future. The athletic department has been pretty mum on any possibility of changes being made, but I don't see how anyone could think Flood is the right guy for the B1G since he's struggling against a collection of Conference USA and former Big East squads.
As for Rutgers, I've always believed that maintaining a bowl streak is important, since it gives players an extra 15 practices and helps with outside perception of the program.


2) The Scarlet Knights have two games where they scored over 50 points and six where they were held under 20. Which one is more true of the offense, and what does that offense look like?


The 50 point games were earlier in the season when there was still hope for the season. Since a debilitating loss to Louisville that was filled with Gary Nova interceptions, the offense has regressed considerably. If the offense was clicking, you could expect a heavy dose of the running game, as former walk-on Paul James is a strong downhill runner who led the nation in yardage before he was injured. It's a very pro-style type of offense.


3) Should Mississippi State and Rutgers meet up in a bowl game, it would be the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham. What type of crowd would Rutgers bring to such a game.


The fans are very disappointed with how the season has gone, to say the least. Not too long ago, just going to a bowl was quite an accomplishment for the Scarlet Knights. Now, it's expected, and many fans have been waiting for that elusive BCS bid since the magical 2006 season. Since then, fan turnout to these less-than-elite bowls has been somewhat lacking, so I wouldn't expect the greatest representation of a Rutgers fan contingent. However, a matchup against an SEC opponent could induce more turnout, so there's that.


4) Who are the big names to watch for on the offensive and defensive side of the ball for Rutgers?


Leonte Carroo has stepped up as this season's big play wide receiver, with almost all of his touchdowns coming in the fourth quarter, and some as game-winning catches. Defensively, former five-star recruit Darius Hamilton is showing his pedigree as a disruptive force on the defensive line, as he has become the lone bright spot for the uint.


5) Rutgers will play its final football game in the Big East/AAC Saturday. How do fans feel about the move to the Big 10 for 2014?


The initial announcement was met with universal joy and elation, and that is still the case today. In fact, with how badly this season has gone for Rutgers, fans are very thankful that the program wasn't left out of realignment armageddon, even if it means there will be some down years at first.

Kevin also came by the Daily Grind on Bulldogs Sports Radio, and you can listen to that interview here.

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