Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights take on their second Big East opponent of the season and look to improve to 5-0 for the first time since 2006, when Rutgers won its first nine games.
There's a blackout coming to the Rutgers football field this weekend.
The Scarlet Knights, who are back in the national rankings for the first time since 2009, will take the field in all black uniforms for their second Big East matchup of the season, going against regional rival Connecticut (0-0, 3-2) on Saturday afternoon as they look to start their season 5-0.
Although the Scarlet Knights are coming off a bye week, they haven't been silenced on the national scene.
In fact, this past week has been anything but quiet for the Rutgers squad as accolade after accolade has been rolling in, following their 35-26 victory over Arkansas.
Senior wide receiver Mark Harrison was nominated as a GEICO player of the year this past week, while quarterback Gary Nova, who's flourished as the leader of the Scarlet Knights' offense the past two games, was named one of eight quarterbacks to receive the weekly Manning Award.
This week though, Rutgers is planning on putting the awards - and there have been a handful since their last game - to focus on the matchup at hand and the chance to start a season 5-0 for the first time since starting 9-0 in 2006..
It would be only the seventh time that the Scarlet Knights had started a season a perfect 5-0 since the program's inception more than 143 years ago.
Saturday's matchup is a solid chance for the Rutgers squad to grab a little bit of revenge after the Huskies' spoiled the Scarlet Knights' chances at a Big East co-championship last season with a 40-22 victory.
While the Scarlet Knights have more or less cruised through the first four games of the season, this weekend's divisional game presents a bit more of a challenge after the Huskie's 24-17 win over Buffalo last week.
As Connecticut's first divisional opponent this season, Rutgers is going to have to rely heavily on their dominant defense, a squad that allowed an average of just 12.8 points per game.
If the Scarlet Knights are once again able to shut down their opponent's offense, it leaves their own attempts, led by the dual attack of Nova and sophomore running back Jawan Jamison free to take over.
Nova, who has thrown for 962 yards in the first four games of the season, going 74-124-2 with nine touchdowns, has exploded in the stats line over the past two games, while Jamison, and his 122.8 yards per game average, has been the constant for the Rutgers' offense.
A balanced performance between the two, with a consistent attack through the air and on the ground, could even give the Scarlet Knights a slim advantage when they step onto the field.
Another win here though, would be even more impressive than all the stat lines in the entire book, as the undefeated Rutgers squad looks to continue to prove the doubters wrong.