EASTERN MICHIGAN (1-1) at RUTGERS (1-1)
Saturday, September 14 • 1:00 p.m. • ESPN3
High Point Solutions Stadium
Radio: Rutgers IMG Sports Network
(710-WOR; 1450-WCTC; 610-WIP)
Live Stats: ScarletKnights.com
Series: First Meeting
• Rutgers looks to move to 2-1 on the season Saturday as the Scarlet Knights host Eastern Michigan (1-1).
• Kickoff is set for 1:04 p.m. with live coverage on ESPN3. Troy Bender (play-by-play), John Gregory (color analyst) and Angela Mallen (sideline) have the call.
• Coverage on the Rutgers IMG Sports Network begins at noon with Chris Carlin (play-by-play), Ray Lucas (color analyst), Eric LeGrand (color analyst) and Anthony Fucilli (sideline) calling the action.
• Eric LeGrand will have has jersey retired at halftime. The special presentation will also be archived on RVision for any fans who are unable to attend Saturday’s game.
• Rutgers and Eastern Michigan meet for the first time Saturday at High Point Solutions Stadium.
• The Scarlet Knights are 13-5-1 all-time against Mid-American Conference opponents.
• The last time Rutgers played an opponent from the state of Michigan, the Scarlet Knights defeated Michigan State 19-14 in the 2004 season opener in Piscataway.
Eric LeGrand to Have Jersey Number Retired
• Continuing to persevere and provide an inspiration to all, Eric LeGrand’s No. 52 will be retired by Rutgers football in a ceremony Sept. 14 at High Point Solutions Stadium. It will be the first number raised in the 144-year history of the program.
• Rehabbing since suffering a career-ending injury in a game in 2010, LeGrand has set a goal of walking once again – inspiring many along the way. He regularly speaks to organizations about overcoming obstacles, and was presented the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the ESPYs in 2012. LeGrand additionally enters his third season as a member of the Rutgers Radio Network and has a major presence on Twitter.
• The number will be officially retired in a presentation against Eastern Michigan. The birthplace of college football, the Scarlet Knights have never set aside a number in program history.
Flood added that once LeGrand walks again, Rutgers will bring back the number for special occasions.
Rutgers vs. the MAC
Rutgers is 13-5-1 all-time vs. MAC competition:
Rutgers Against the MAC
Ball State 1-0-1
Kent State 2-1
This and That ...
• Rutgers is the only school in the nation to post a shutout in each of the last eight seasons.
• Rutgers is 45-5 since 2000 when holding opponents to less than 300 yards of total offense. In the second game of the season versus Norfolk State, the Spartans finished with 133 yards of total offense (59 rushing, 74 passing).
• The Scarlet Knights are 33-8 since 2006 when rushing for 150 yards or more in a game. Since 2000, the Scarlet Knights are 45-17 when going over the 150-yard mark on the ground.
• Rutgers has scored over 35 points in each of its first two games to start the season. It marks the first time since 2007 (38 vs. Buffalo, 41 vs. Navy) RU opened the season with consecutive games of 35 or more points. Rutgers has only scored more than 35 points in two straight games to begin the season four times in school history (2012, 2007, 2000, 1993).
• Rutgers finished with 273 yards rushing in the 38-0 victory over Norfolk State. It was the most yards rushing in a game by the Scarlet Knights since 292 against Ball State in the 2008 International Bowl.
• Rutgers has 966 yards of total offense in the first two games of the season. It is the most after two games to start a year since 2007 when the Scarlet Knights had 1,039 yards of total offense through two games.
Ground and Pound
Rutgers has averaged 234 rushing yards per game in 2013 - second in the American Athletic Conference and 34th nationally. The Scarlet Knights averaged 171 yards per game through two games last year.
During Rutgers’ recent bowl run of seven bowls in eight years, it is the best two-game start rushing for the Scarlet Knights.
The only other season Rutgers began the year with an average of over 200 yards per game on the ground was 2007 - when Ray Rice finished the season with 2,012 yards rushing.
Rushing Yards Through Two Games
Season Rushing Yards Per Game
Rutgers is the only team in the nation to have a pair of former walk-ons as starters at running back and fullback. The combination of Paul James and Michael Burton has been a key reason why the Scarlet Knights are averaging 5.3 yards per carry in 2013.
James had two choices coming out of high school - to walk-on at Rutgers or Temple while Burton had several FCS scholarship offers but none on the FBS level.
With Burton in the starting lineup over the last two seasons, Rutgers has averaged 180.8 rushing yards per game. The New Jersey native missed the final nine games of the 2012 season with a leg injury.
The Glassboro Express
Sophomore running back Paul James ran for the most yards by a player coming off the bench in school history with his 182-yard performance at Fresno State.
James finished with career-highs in rushing attempts (22), rushing yards (182) and long run (65) against the Bulldogs. It was the fourth-highest single-game rushing total by a player in school history in the opening game of the season.
James is the only running back in the nation to have over 300 rushing yards on the season and average over seven yards per carry.
Top Single-Game Rushing Totals in Season-Opener
Player, Opponent (Date) Rushing Yards
Ray Rice at North Carolina (9/2/06) 201
Henry Henderson at Cincinnati (9/5/87) 199
Ray Rice vs. Buffalo (8/30/07) 184
Paul James at Fresno State (8/29/13) 182
Memorable First Career Start
Paul James scored three touchdowns in his first career start in Rutgers’ 38-0 victory over Norfolk State. On his mother’s birthday, James found the end zone for the first time in his career.
Player, Opponent Att.-Yards-TD
Terrell Willis at Army (10-16-93) 37-221-4
Savon Huggins at Cincinnati (11-17-12) 41-179-0
Jourdan Brooks at Navy (9-20-08) 22-134-2
Paul James vs. Norfolk State (9-7-13) 18-119-3
“JJ” Jennings vs. Colgate (11-20-71) 21-108-3
Bruce Presley vs. WVU (11-14-92) 27-105-0
Kordell Young vs. Fresno State (9-1-08) 26-94-0
Mason Robinson vs. UNC (9-11-08) 16-82-0
Joe Martinek vs. Louisville (12-4-08) 18-57-0
Ray Rice at Illinois (9-3-05) 12-55-0
Jawan Jamison at Syracuse (10-1-11) 24-48-0
Brian Leonard vs. Buffalo (8-30-03) * 6-11-0
* started at fullback
After ranking near the bottom of the national rankings in scoring offense and total offense over the last four years, Rutgers has found its way in the early going on offense in 2013.
With a full season of starts under his belt, junior quarterback Gary Nova has directed an offense that ranks 39th nationally in total offense and 26th in scoring offense.
Total Offense/Scoring Offense Comparisons
Year, Category (Avg. per game) National Rank
2013, Total Offense (483.0) 39
2013, Scoring Offense (44.5) 26
2012, Total Offense (329.9) 104
2012, Scoring Offense (21.5) 96
2011, Total Offense (339.0) 99
2011, Scoring Offense (26.4) 65
2010, Total Offense (294.2) 114
2010, Scoring Offense (20.8) 101
2009, Total Offense (326.3) 97
2009, Scoring Offense (28.9) 52
2008, Total Offense (398.4) 39
2008, Scoring Offense (29.0) 39
2007, Total Offense (449.3) 18
2007, Scoring Offense (32.7) 33
2006, Total Offense (345.1) 58
2006, Scoring Offense (29.7) 22
Gary Nova started the season with 348 yards passing and five touchdown passes at Fresno State (August 29). He set a school record for passing yardage and touchdown passes in a season-opener with his performance against the Bulldogs.
The 348 yards passing rank No. 13 in Rutgers’ single-game history and Nova became only the second player in school history to have at least two five-touchdown games. Only Mike Teel (seven vs. Louisville, six vs. Pittsburgh) in 2008 has also had two games of at least five touchdown passes. Nova also threw five TD passes in the win vs. Arkansas in 2012.
Nova already ranks sixth in school history with 4,746 career passing yards, 375 completions and 39 touchdowns. He needs 254 yards passing to become the sixth quarterback in RU history to reach the 5,000-yard passing plateau.
More Nova Notes ...
Gary Nova threw for 193 yards in the first half at Fresno State, the most in an opening half in his career.
Nova threw for 348 yards versus the Bulldogs, eclipsing the 300-yard mark for the third time in his career. The 348 yards were the second most he has thrown for in a game. His career-best is 397 at Arkansas (Sept. 22, 2012).
Nova threw five touchdown passes, tying his career high at Arkansas (Sept. 22, 2012).
Rutgers scored 51 points in the first game of the 2013 season at Fresno State. It marked the first time since December 4, 2008 that Rutgers eclipsed the 50-point mark in a game (63 vs. Louisville).
RU rolled up 543 yards of total offense against Fresno State - the highest single-game total for the Scarlet Knights since 671 yards of total offense against the Cardinals in 2008.
Sophomore WR Leonte Carroo did something that no other player has done in 144 years of Rutgers football - catch three touchdown passes in his first career game at wide receiver. Carroo played in all 13 games in 2012, but was used on special teams.
Carroo caught five passes for 135 yards and three scores against Fresno State. The three touchdown passes are tied for third in RU single-game history and he is just the fourth player in school history to catch at least three receiving touchdowns in a game.
Big Play Brandon
Junior wide receiver Brandon Coleman has shown throughout his career the knack for the big play and finding the end zone.
The Maryland native has a career yards per reception average of 19.8 and 10 of his 18 career touchdown receptions have covered 30 yards or more. Coleman’s 10 receiving touchdowns in 2012 tied Marco Battaglia’s school record for single-season receiving touchdowns set in 1995.
Coleman is already tied for second in school history with 18 receiving touchdowns in 27 career games.
RU Career Receiving Touchdown Leaders
1. Tim Brown (2006-09) 20
2. Brandon Coleman (2011-present) 18
Mark Harrison (2009-12) 18
4. Kenny Britt (2006-08) 17
Chris Brantley (1990-93) 17
6. Tiquan Underwood (2005-08) 16
Marco Battaglia (1992-95) 16
Tres Moses (2001-05) 16
9. Brian Leonard (2003-06) 13
Bob Simms (1957-59) 13
Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood is a perfect 5-0 in the month of September. The Scarlet Knights were a perfect 4-0 in September in 2012 - with three of the victories coming on the road.
Since 2006, Rutgers is 20-7 in September. The Scarlet Knights have lost just four home games in September at home since 2006.
Record-Setting Return for Janarion
True freshman wide receiver Janarion Grant ran back a 100-yard kickoff return to score the first points of the season for Rutgers.
The 100-yard kickoff return tied a school record and Grant became the first true freshman in 144 years of football at Rutgers to record a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Only Grant and Nate Jones have recorded a 100-yard kickoff return in the Rutgers’ record books. Jones did it at Syracuse and at Tennessee in 2002.
The 100-yard kickoff return for Grant was the first kick return for a touchdown for the Scarlet Knights since Jeremy Deering notched a 98-yard return against USF (Nov. 5, 2011).
Recent Rutgers Kickoff Returns for a Touchdown
100 – Janarion Grant (Aug. 29, 2013 at Fresno State)
98 – Jeremy Deering (Nov. 5, 2011 vs. USF)
98 – Devin McCourty (Oct. 31, 2009 at Connecticut)
91 – Joe LeFeged (Dec. 5, 2009 vs. West Virginia)
35 – Damaso Munoz (Dec. 19, 2009 vs. UCF)
Welcome to Rutgers
The following players made their first career start at Fresno State: DT Darius Hamilton, DE Djwany Mera, LB Steve Longa, DB Gareef Glashen, DB Ian Thomas, OL Keith Lumpkin, WR Ruhann Peele.
Three true freshmen and six redshirt freshmen made their collegiate debut at Fresno State: WR Janarion Grant, LB Steve Longa, DB Nadir Barnwell, DB Ian Thomas, LB Davon Jacobs, FB Kevin Marquez, OL Chris Muller, WR Ruhann Peele, WR Andre Patton.
In the Norfolk State victory, Tyler Kroft, Chris Muller and Paul James made their first career start.
Also in the NSU win, the following players made their collegiate debut: L.J. Liston, Delon Stephenson, Anthony Cioffi, Bryan Leoni, Chris Fonti, Carlton Agudosi, Quanzell Lambert, Tyler Bellia, Sebastian Joseph, Anthony Milito, Al Page, Nick Arcidiacono, Desmon Peoples, Sheldon Royster, Justin Goodwin, J.J. Denman, Brian Verbitski, and Jevon Tyree.
After playing just three true freshmen in 2012, Rutgers has had nine true freshmen see the field in 2013.
This Week’s Opponent: Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan brings a record of 1-1 into Saturday’s game at Rutgers. The Eagles lost last week 45-7 at Penn State and opened the year with a 34-24 victory over Howard.
Now in his fifth year as head coach, Ron English owns a career record of 11-39 during his tenure with the Eagles. English also doubles as the team’s defensive coordinator in 2013.
EMU returns 42 letterwinnrs and 16 starters from last season’s 2-10 squad.
Last year the Eagles ranked 19th in the nation in net punting at 39.35 yards per play and 38th in pass defense at 212.75 yards per game. EMU was strong inside the red zone, scoring on 83 percent of trips inside the 20. Eastern scored touchdowns 55 percent of the time when inside their opponents’ 20.
Despite the Eagles’ recent struggles, an impressive streak has remained intact and is in its sixth season in 2013. EMU has not been held scoreless in a game since a 37-0 home loss to Northern Illinois University, Sept. 27, 2008 - a streak of 57 games.
Man in the Middle from Saddle Brook
Redshirt freshman middle linebacker Steve Longa earned his first career start at Fresno State in the season-opener. It also extended a streak going back to 2010 of having a Saddle Brook native as the starting MLB on the Rutgers’ defense.
Current New England Patriot Steve Beauharnais started the last three years at middle linebacker. Both Beauharnais and Longa are from Saddle Brook.
Longa led all players with 12 tackles in the Fresno State game. Longa leads RU with 17 tackles on the season.
Thompson Moves to the R
Senior defensive end Marcus Thompson moved to the R defensive end position in the off-season and made an instant impact in the first game of 2013. Thompson recorded a career-high seven tackles and set a personal single-game best with one sack against the Bulldogs.
In two games in 2013, Thompson leads the Scarlet Knights with two sacks.
Deering on Defense
Senior Jeremy Deering made the full-time transition to defense in 2013 after splitting time in 2012 at wide receiver and safety last year. In his first career start at free safety vs. Fresno State, Deering totaled a career-high six tackles.
Senior cornerback Lew Toler was immediately eligible after transferring to Rutgers over the summer. Toler graduated from Western Michigan and enrolled in a master’s program prior to the season. He started 36 of his last 37 games during his career for the Broncos.
In his season debut at Rutgers, Toler finished with five tackles at Fresno State. He also forced a fumble and recovered a fumble against the Bulldogs.
What a Difference a Year Makes
Redshirt freshman cornerback Ian Thomas has come a long way in one year “On the Banks.” Thomas spent his freshman year redshirting as a wide receiver before moving to cornerback during bowl practices last season.
At the suggestion of then RU All-America cornerback and current New England Patriot Logan Ryan, Thomas made the move to the defensive side of the ball.
He quickly made an impression in the spring on defense and secured a starting spot at cornerback. In the first game of the year at Fresno State, Thomas picked off his first career interception as a Scarlet Knight.
Since 2009, Rutgers has led all schools nationally with 32 blocked kicks/punts. During that time span, RU has scored 11 touchdowns via special teams.
Rutgers and UCLA tied for the national lead with eight blocked kicks/punts in 2012.
NCAA Team Blocked Kick Leaders Since 2009
1. Rutgers 32
2. Fresno State 24
Big Play Offense is Back
Rutgers had four different plays of at least 55 yards against Fresno State. In 13 games in 2012, the Scarlet Knights had just eight such plays.
Long Night on the Left Coast
The Fresno State game took four hours and 26 minutes to complete in elapsed time. It was the first RU game to eclipse four hours since the double-overtime win at Syracuse (4:20) in 2011 and the longest in stat files going back to the 2000 season.
The Scarlet Knights did not arrive home from the trip to Fresno until 10:45 a.m. ET the following morning.
Conference Championship in Three Centuries
Rutgers captured a share of its first Big East Championship after finishing the 2012 season 9-4 overall and 5-2 in the Big East. It also gave RU conference championships in three different centuries (1894 Middle States Football League Champions; 1958, 1960, 1961 University Division Champion of the Middle Atlantic Conference and 2012 BIG EAST). In its final season in the Big East, Rutgers defeated league opponents USF, Connecticut, Syracuse, Temple and Cincinnati.
Pipeline to the NFL
Rutgers had 15 players sign with NFL teams following the 2012 season, including a school-record seven selected in the NFL Draft.
2013 NFL Draft Class
Player NFL Organization Rd. Pick
Logan Ryan, CB New England Patriots 3 83
Duron Harmon, FS New England Patriots 3 91
Khaseem Greene, LB Chicago Bears 4 117
D.C. Jefferson, TE Arizona Cardinals 7 219
Jawan Jamison, RB Washington Redskins 7 228
Steve Beauharnais, LB New England Patriots 7 235
Marcus Cooper, CB San Francisco 49ers 7 252
2013 Free Agent Signees
R.J. Dill, OT Jacksonville Jaguars
Mark Harrison, WR Chicago Bears
Tim Wright, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brandon Jones, CB New England Patriots
Ka’Lial Glaud, LB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Scott Vallone, DT New England Patriots
Mason Robinson, CB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marvin Booker, LB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Flood Announces 2013 Captains
Kyle Flood announced the 2013 season captains as selected by members of the Rutgers football team. Senior defensive tackle Jamil Merrell, senior linebacker Jamal Merrell, junior wide receiver Brandon Coleman and junior quarterback Gary Nova were selected team captains.
The Merrell brothers are the first brothers to serve as team captains in the same season for Rutgers since Gabe and George Ludlow 120 years ago. The Ludlow brothers were team captains in 1893.
Three additional sets of brothers were tabbed Rutgers football captains, but not in the same year. Those captain combinations included Jason McCourty (2008) and Devin McCourty (2009), Bill Pickel (1982) and George Pickel (1985) and Clem Udovich (1985) and Pat Udovich (1989).
Getting it Done in the Classroom
The Rutgers football program has earned the 2012-13 BIG EAST Team Excellence Award, the conference office announced. It was the second-straight year the Scarlet Knights won the honor for football.
RU was chosen as the BIG EAST’s football winner based on the 2012-13 grade-point average (GPA) of each student-athlete who appeared on the RU roster as of the last contest of the championship segment in each conference-sponsored sport.
Rutgers football continues its established trend as one of the nation’s top programs in the classroom and on the playing field as the Scarlet Knights ranked tied for 11th nationally in Academic Progress Rate (APR), according to the latest multi-year APR figures released by the NCAA. RU was the lone state university to be ranked in the top 10 percent nationally in APR for the sixth-consecutive year. In addition, Rutgers was the only institution to win four bowl games while earning the APR honor in the top 10 percent over the previous six-year span.
In February, 28 football players were named to the BIG EAST All-Academic Football Team.
Coleman Nominated for AFCA Good Works Team
Brandon Coleman has been nominated for the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. The award honors college football players at all levels of the sport for their selfless acts of giving back to the community and off-the-field achievements. A record 150 nominees have been put up for the AFCA Good Works Team®.
Coleman has been heavily involved in the community since arriving on campus, participating in such events as Read Across America, Port Reading Saints Pop Warner, Metuchen Middle School Anti-Bullying Campaign, Athletes in Action, Urban Impact, Hurricane Irene cleanup and Special Olympics New Jersey. The junior also visited Haiti after its earthquake in 2010 and helped with the recovery efforts by taking part in the construction of a church and mentoring young children.
“Volunteering and performing community service has been ingrained into me since a young age,” Coleman said. “My parents would take me to soup kitchens and we would go on school trips to help whenever we could. It has been a habit and I didn’t want to stop once I arrived at Rutgers. The feeling of helping others is truly rewarding. I plan on continuing to volunteer once I leave here as well.”
On the field, Coleman was named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team after tying a school record with 10 touchdown receptions in 2012. He was tabbed a 2013 Preseason Third Team All-American by Sporting News and was named to the Preseason All-American Athletic Conference First Team by Phil Steele and Athlon.
From the nominees submitted by sports information directors across the nation on behalf of their schools, a special voting panel consisting of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® members and prominent college football media members will select the 2013 Good Works Team.® Comprised of 11 players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and 11 players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III, and the NAIA, the final roster of 22 award recipients will be unveiled in September.
Coleman Named to Biletnikoff Award Watch List
Brandon Coleman has been named to the 2013 Biletnikoff Award Preseason Watch List. Given annually to the outstanding receiver in college football, the award will be presented live on Dec. 12 on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.
Coleman is coming off one of the best receiving seasons in Rutgers history in 2012, tying a school record with 10 touchdown grabs. The 2012 All-BIG EAST Second Team selection led the team with 718 receiving yards last season and ranks tied for fifth on the school’s all-time list with 16 career touchdown catches.
Johnson, Lowery On Outland Trophy Watch List
Junior offensive tackle Kaleb Johnson and senior guard Antwan Lowery have been named to the initial Outland Trophy Watch List, announced by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). The Outland Trophy is given annually to the nation’s best interior lineman.
Johnson, one of 25 tackles on the preseason list, is a preseason All-American Athletic Conference selection by Athlon, Phil Steele and Sporting News. He started all 13 games in 2012, earning All-BIG EAST Second Team honors.
Lowery garnered First Team All-BIG EAST recognition after earning the nod in every game of the 2012 season at left guard. One of 20 guards on the list, Lowery is a Preseason All-American Athletic Conference First Team selection by Athlon and Phil Steele.
Johnson and Lowery each helped pave the way for a 1,000-yard rusher Jawan Jamison last season, while anchoring a line that allowed the eighth-fewest sacks in the nation.
Jamal Merrell on Bednarik Award Watch List
Jamal Merrell earned a spot on the 2013 Bednarik Award watch list, the Maxwell Football Club announced. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995.
It is the third preseason honor for Merrell, who also was named Phil Steele Preseason Second Team All-American Athletic Conference and Athlon Preseason All-Conference Third Team. He recorded 83 total tackles, 8.5 for loss and two blocked kicks in 13 starts as the strongside linebacker last season. Merrell picked up double-digit stops against Howard, Arkansas and Louisville.
Rutgers Injury Report - Eastern Michigan Game
Player Injury Game Status
Johnathan Aiken Ankle Out
Carlton Agudosi Hamstring Probable
Brandon Arcidiacono Shoulder Out
Sam Bergen Ankle Doubtful
Paul Carrezola Lower body Probable
Andre Civil Ankle Game-time decision
Jeff Gignac Hamstring Out
Bryant Gross-Armiento Hamstring Out
Dallas Hendrikson Lower leg Probable
Max Issaka Shoulder Out
Vance Matthews Back Out
Jamil Merrell Lower leg Probable
Andre Patton Ankle Game-time decision
Julian Pinnix-Odrick Knee Out
News and Notes on Saturday’s Athletic Directors ...
Both teams feature female athletic directors (Julie Hermann and Heather Lyke) who have each been in their respective roles for less than three months.
Five percent of FBS programs are run by women- there are seven current DI-FBS female athletic directors and 128 FBS programs in the country.
The last meeting of FBS teams with female ADs was on September 1, 2012, when Cary Groth’s University of Nevada Wolfpack faced Sandy Barbour’s Cal Golden Bears in Berkeley, Calif.
Both Hermann and Lyke are the first women to hold the athletic director position at their respective institutions.