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Scarlet Knights Game Preview - SMU
  • Posted on September 30, 2013 12:25:51 PM
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  • RUTGERS (3-1, 0-0) at SMU(1-3, 0-0)
    Saturday, October 5 • 11:00 a.m. (CT) • ESPNews
    Gerald J. Ford Stadium (32,000)
    Dallas, Texas

    Radio: Rutgers IMG Sports Network
    (710-WOR; 1450-WCTC; 610-WIP)
    Live Stats: ScarletKnights.com

    Series: First meeting

    Saturday's Game
    • Rutgers opens American Athletic Conference play for the first time Saturday in Dallas against SMU. It is the first meeting between the two schools.
    • Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CT with live coverage on ESPNews. Dave Lamont (play-by-play) and David Diaz-Infante (color analyst) have the call. It is Rutgers’ first game televised on ESPNews.
    • Coverage on the Rutgers IMG Sports Network begins at 10 a.m. (CT) with Chris Carlin (play-by-play), Ray Lucas (color analyst) and Anthony Fucilli (sideline) calling the action.
    • With a victory Saturday at SMU, Rutgers would capture a victory in its conference opener for the fourth consecutive season.
    • Since conference play began in 1991 in the old BIG EAST, Rutgers would win for just the sixth time in a conference road opener with a victory over the Mustangs.
    • Rutgers is 8-14 in conference openers and 3-7 when starting conference play on the road since 1991. Rutgers defeated USF 23-13 in Tampa last year in the conference opener.

    Series Information
    • Rutgers and SMU are meeting for the first time Saturday.
    • The Scarlet Knights play a game in Texas for the first time since the 2006 Texas Bowl (37-10 victory over Kansas State).
    • Saturday’s game is just the second game in school history in the regular season in Texas. The lone other game in the Longhorn State in the regular season was a 1997 visit to Texas (48-14 loss).

    Saturday’s Quick Hits
    • Rutgers will play eight conference games for the first time in 2013.
    • The Scarlet Knights have scored 28 points or more in each of the first four games for the first time in school history.
    • The Scarlet Knights had eight different plays of at least 20 yards against Arkansas. The team has 28 such plays this year.
    • Gary Nova became the sixth RU quarterback to throw for 5,000 career yards in the win over Arkansas. He also took over fourth all-time with 42 passing touchdowns. Nova now has four games with at least 300 yards passing in his career, tied for the third most for a RU quarterback since 1973.

    This and That ...
    • Rutgers is the only school in the nation to post a shutout in each of the last eight seasons.
    • Rutgers is 46-5 since 2000 when holding opponents to less than 300 yards of total offense.
    • The Scarlet Knights are 34-8 since 2006 when rushing for 150 yards or more in a game.
    • Since 2000, the Scarlet Knights are 46-17 when going over the 150-yard mark on the ground.
    • 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.
    • Since 2000, Rutgers is 45-13 when holding the opponent below 100 yards rushing in a game.
    • Since 2000, Rutgers is 22-3 when limiting the opponent to less than 50 yards rushing in a game.
    • Eight true freshmen have seen action already this season, with cornerback Nadir Barnwell becoming the first to make a start versus Arkansas.
    • Thirteen different players have made their first career start this season, with four starting all four games so far (Hamilton, Longa, Lumpkin, Mera).
    • The longest punt return last season was 22 yards. True freshman Janarion Grant posted returns of 58 and 47 yards versus Arkansas.
    • Seven of the top 15 crowds in stadium history have happened since the beginning of the 2012 season.
    • Nick Marsh has seven touchbacks on 26 kickoffs this season. RU had 10 touchbacks on 58 kickoffs last season. Dating back to his time at Utah, Marsh has recorded 218 career kickoffs without one sailing out-of-bounds.

    The Glassboro Express
    Sophomore running back Paul James is eighth nationally with 573 rushing yards. James is out for at least the next two games at SMU and Louisville with a lower leg injury.
    He ranks fourth in rushing yards per game (143.3 yards per game). The first-year starter is averaging 7.4 yards per carry and leads the nation with four runs of 50 yards or longer.

    NCAA Rushing Leaders
    Player, School Rushing Yards Per Game
    1. Bishop Sankey, Washington 151.8
    2. Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky 145.4
    3. Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona 143.7
    4. Paul James, Rutgers 143.3

    Big Play James Notes ...
    • Paul James found the end zone three times in the Eastern Michigan victory; giving him six touchdowns in two games. Rutgers had six rushing touchdowns for the 2012 season.
    • James is the first Scarlet Knight since Ray Rice in 2007 to score at least three touchdowns in two consecutive games. Rice had three touchdowns against Louisville and four touchdowns in final collegiate game against Ball State.
    • James is the first player to have four rushes of at least 50 yards in a season in the 2000s. The last RU player with at least two rushes of 50 yards or more was Rice in 2006 with two.
    • James’ four rushes of 50 yards or more are more than the previous three seasons combined. RU had one rushing play of 50 yards or longer in 2012, 2011 and 2010.
    • Since 2000, Rutgers has had multiple 50-yard runs in a season four times: 2013 (4), 2009 (2), 2006 (2) and 2005 (2).
    • James ran for the most yards by a player coming off the bench in school history with his 182-yard performance at Fresno State in the 2013 opener.
    • James finished with 22 rushing attempts for 182 yards 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 fourth player in Rutgers history to post multiple games of 180 yards or more in the same season. He joins Ray Rice (2007, 2006), Terrell Willis (1993) and “JJ” Jennings (1973) in the record books.

    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

    Offensive Attack
    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 63rd nationally in total offense and 39th in scoring offense.

    Total Offense/Scoring Offense Comparisons
    Year, Category (Avg. per game) National Rank
    2013, Total Offense (410.0) 63
    2013, Scoring Offense (36.3) 39
    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

    Super Nova
    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 5,136 career passing yards and 401 completions and fourth with 42 touchdowns. He is the sixth quarterback in RU history to reach the 5,000-yard passing plateau.

    Rutgers Career Touchdown Pass Leaders
    Player Career Touchdown Passes
    1. Mike Teel (2005-08) 59
    2. Ryan Hart (2002-05) 52
    3. Ray Lucas (1992-95) 43
    4. Gary Nova (2011-present) 42
    5. Mike McMahon (1997-00) 41
    Scott Erney (1986-89) 41

    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).
    • Nova has thrown four fourth quarter touchdown passes this season. That mark is tied for second in the nation, behind five players who have thrown five fourth quarter touchdowns.

    Offensive Fireworks
    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.

    Tough Against the Run
    One staple of the Rutgers defense over the last decade has been its ability to stop the run. The Scarlet Knights are fourth nationally in rushing defense allowing just 69.8 yards per game.
    Arkansas, which is currently 21st nationally averaging 237 rushing yards per game, finished with a season-low 101 yards against Rutgers.

    NCAA Rushing Defense Leaders
    School Rushing Yards Per Game
    1. Florida 53.5
    2. Michigan State 58.3
    3. Texas State 62.5
    4. Rutgers 69.8

    Last season, Rutgers ranked sixth nationally in rushing defense (97.2 yards per game). The Scarlet Knights have also finished in the top 20 in rushing defense in 2009 (15th, 103.2 yards per game) and in 2006 (17th, 101.0 yards per game).

    More on Stopping the Run
    • Rutgers is first in the nation in opponent rushing yards per carry on first down (1.42).
    • The Scarlet Knights have allowed 95 yards total on the season on first down, the second-lowest total in the nation.
    • Rutgers leads the nation in fourth quarter rushing defense in 2013. RU’s opponents have combined to rush for negative 16 yards in the fourth quarter this season. The longest run against the Scarlet Knight defense in the fourth quarter was seven yards.
    • The Scarlet Knights have allowed just 1.79 yards per rush in the second half and overtime in 2013, the fifth-best mark nationally.
    • Opponents have rushed for 56 yards in the second quarter in 2013 - the fifth-lowest total in the nation.

    Take it to the House
    Rutgers leads the nation in kickoff returns with an average return of 36.9 yards. The Scarlet Knights and TCU are the only teams in the nation with two kickoff returns for a touchdown this year.
    Rutgers is the lone school nationally with two kickoff returns of 90 yards or more in 2013.
    True freshman wide receiver Janarion Grant ran back a 100-yard kickoff return to score the first points of the season for Rutgers at Fresno State.
    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).
    Senior Quron Pratt scored on a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the victory over Eastern Michigan. Both Pratt and Grant scored a touchdown on the first kickoff return of their careers, respectively.

    Recent Rutgers Kickoff Returns for a Touchdown
    99 - Quron Pratt (Sept. 14, 2013 vs. Eastern Michigan)
    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)

    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.

    The Edison native ranks eighth nationally with five receiving touchdowns in 2013. Carroo is the only player in the country with four receiving touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

    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 19.6 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 28 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

    September Success
    Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood is a perfect 7-0 in the month of September. The Scarlet Knights were 4-0 in September in 2012 - with three of the victories coming on the road.
    Since 2006, Rutgers is 22-7 in September. The Scarlet Knights have lost just four home games in September at home since 2006.

    The R
    Senior defensive end Marcus Thompson has become a force in his first season playing the R position in the Rutgers defense. Thompson is 19th nationally with 0.9 sacks per game.
    Thompson picked up at least one sack in the third straight game in the 28-10 win over Eastern Michigan. He was the first player since Jamaal Westerman in 2007 to achieve the feat. Westerman totaled five sacks against Cincinnati, Syracuse and USF.

    This Week’s Opponent: SMU
    SMU is 1-3 to start the season under head coach June Jones. Jones, who is known for his prolific passing attacks, is in his 15th season as a head coach and his sixth with the Mustangs in Dallas. SMU defeated Montana State 31-30 for its lone victory of the season while losing to TCU (48-17), Texas A&M (42-13) and Texas Tech (41-23).
    The Mustangs will don blue throwback jerseys for the game against Rutgers. At the game, SMU will honor its 1983 football squad, a team that was captained by Russell Carter and Lance McIlhenny and went 10-2, advancing to the Sun Bowl.
    To create an even greater `80s vibe, SMU will be offering special blue cups at the concession stands that mimic the throwback jerseys, will play `80s music during breaks and will create an `80s-specific graphics package for the videoboard.
    The Mustangs bring one of the nation’s most potent passing offenses into Saturday’s game. SMU ranks 11th nationally in passing offense (330.5 yards per game) as quarterback Garrett Gilbert is second nationally in completions per game (34 per game). Gilbert ranks eighth nationally with 322.8 passing yards per game.
    SMU is 56th in total offense (419.3 yards per game) as the Mustangs average 21 points per game (97th nationally). SMU is 114th nationally in rushing offense with 88.8 yards per game on the ground.
    SMU ranks 96th in total defense (438.8 yards per game) and 116th in scoring defense (40.3 points per game). SMU has yielded 293.8 passing yards per contest (113th nationally) and rank 50th in rushing defense (145.0 yards per game).

    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. In the victory over Eastern Michigan, Longa tied a career-high with 12 tackles. He also contributed a career-best 2.0 sacks and 2.5 TFLs. Longa leads RU and ranks sixth in the AAC with 9.0 tackles per game.
    The redshirt freshman also ranks 10th nationally in forced fumbles in 2013.

    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.

    Block Party
    Since 2009, Rutgers has led all schools nationally with 32 blocked kicks/punts. During that time span, RU has scored 14 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

    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.
    Currently, 25 former Scarlet Knights are on NFL rosters.

    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.

    Kroft Named National Tight End of the Week
    The John Mackey Award (www.johnmackeyaward.com) named Tyler Kroft (Downingtown, Pa.) of Rutgers as John Mackey Tight End of the Week on September 25. The sophomore recorded six receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown to help guide Rutgers to 21 unanswered points in a 28-24 victory over Arkansas. Down 10-0, Kroft got Rutgers on the board with his second quarter touchdown reception and he also caught a 42 yard pass late in the game which was pivotal to the fourth quarter comeback win.
    Kroft finished with career-highs in receptions (six) and receiving yards (133). He was the first RU tight end since Clark Harris in the 2006 Texas Bowl to post 100 yards receiving in a game.

    The 2013 John Mackey recipient will be presented live on December 12, 2013 at The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show: 6:00 p.m. on ESPNU. Other key dates include the announcement of the 2013 Mackey Midseason Watch List on October 14, 2013, the 2013 Mackey Semifinalists on November 18, 2013 and the 2013 Mackey Finalists on November 25, 2013. All future announcements can be found at www.johnmackeyaward.com and on our official Twitter account: @JohnMackeyAward.
    The John Mackey Tight End of the Week is an honor distinct and different from the annual John Mackey Award. This weekly honor was started in 2004 to draw attention to individual play by Tight Ends during the active season. The Tight End of the Week acknowledgment does not have a direct bearing on the final John Mackey Award selection process. Click here for a list of all-time John Mackey Tight End of the Week recipients.

    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 - SMU Game
    Player Injury Game Status
    Carlton Agudosi Hamstring Probable
    Brandon Arcidiacono Shoulder Out
    Sam Bergen Ankle Out
    Paul Carrezola Lower body Probable
    Andre Civil Elbow Probable
    Jeremy Deering Lower body Probable
    Jeff Gignac Hamstring Out
    Bryant Gross-Armiento Hamstring Out
    Max Issaka Shoulder Out
    Paul James Leg Out
    Kenneth Kirksey Tricep Out
    Taylor Marini Shoulder Out
    Vance Matthews Back Probable
    Jamal Merrell Kidney Out
    Al Page Shoulder Out
    Andre Patton Ankle Probable
    Julian Pinnix-Odrick Knee Out

    Knight Notes ...
    • Rutgers has won six consecutive games when passing for less than 100 yards in a game. In the Eastern Michigan victory, the Scarlet Knights went 8-for-13 with 89 yards. The last time the team threw for less than 100 yards was a 19-14 win over FIU in 2010, with RU passing for 96 yards (8-for-16, one touchdown).
    • Eastern Michigan rushed for 38 yards against the Scarlet Knights. RU improved to 9-3 under Kyle Flood when allowing less than 100 rushing yards and 2-2 with less than 50 rushing yards allowed.
    • The defense totaled six sacks in the EMU victory. The last time that happened was against Pitt in 2011.
    • Rutgers has won three consecutive games against SEC competition.
    • Rutgers scored on a 98-yard drive in the fourth quarter against Arkansas, the longest drive by yardage this season.
    • Rutgers has three touchdowns on special teams this year (two kickoff returns, one punt return).
    • The Arkansas win marked the biggest second-half comeback since beating Vanderbilt 37-34 on the road in 2004. RU was down 27-3 in the third quarter against Vandy before the come-from-behind victory.
    • The last time RU rallied from a 17-point deficit was the victory over No. 3 Louisville in 2006 when the Scarlet Knights were down 25-7 in the second quarter and came back to defeat the Cardinals 28-25.
    • Rutgers has 925 yards of total offense and has scored 63 points against the Razorbacks over the last two seasons.


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