Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
They're the number one rushing offense in the nation and this Saturday the Black Knights bring their run attack to High Point Solutions Stadium in a game that Rutgers needs to win.
There is not enough time this week for the No. 23 Rutgers football team to think too long or too hard about what happened the last time they took the field.
For the record, the last time they walked into High Point Solutions Stadium they dropped their first game of the season, falling to out-of-conference opponent Kent State 35-26. Yes, there were turnovers, there were defensive mistakes and Rutgers allowed the most points from an opponent all season in that game.
But now, almost two weeks after Rutgers put a notch in that loss column, they've got a brand-new beast to deal with in another team anxious for an upset victory, taking on Army at noon on Saturday afternoon at home in High Point Solutions Stadium.
"What he said was you have to remember is that for those players at West Point, football practice is the easiest part of their day," Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said earlier this week. "When you put it in that perspective, you find out in a hurry exactly what you're in for."
The Black Knights are fresh off a 41-21 victory over Air Force last week, a somewhat surprising victory for an Army squad that only has one other win to its name.
Rutgers knows Army possesses the number one rushing attack in the nation.
The Scarlet Knights are ranked fourth nationally in rushing defense and have allowed only 708 yards on the ground all season, but 224 of those yards came in the loss to Kent State. Rutgers knows it can't afford another defensive performance like that and, led by senior linebacker Khaseem Greene, they don't intend to.
"They have two players on their offense that average over a hundred yards a game and another one that averages over 70 yards a game," Flood said of his team's impending opponents. "That is going to be one of the keys to the game for us on defense is staying on our feet."
This will be the 38th overall meeting between the two squads in a series that Rutgers currently leads 20-18, winning 12 of the last 14 meetings since 1991.
Last season, the Scarlet Knights topped Army 27-12 in a Black Knights home game at Yankee Stadium.
Rutgers needs a victory to stay in the picture for a major bowl bid, and the Knights know it won't be easy.
"You can expect to be in a battle, a very tough-fought battle for the duration of the game regardless how that game goes, and you're always going to get an extremely spirited effort from their football team," Flood said.