September 1, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Kyle Flood celebrates a 24-12 win against the Tulane Green Wave with his players after their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Chuck Cook - US PRESSWIRE
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are looking to start their season 2-0, for the second time in three seasons this week as the squad goes up against the Howard Bison in Saturday's home opener.
Rutgers is coming off a week one 24-12 victory over Tulane that saw the Scarlet Knights allow just eight yards rushing in 16 attempts by the Green Wave en route to giving up only 262 total yards.
The dominating defensive stand was highlighted by three sacks, while the offense was paced by sophomore running back Jawan Jamison who rushed for 112 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries.
The strong opening, in coach Kyle Flood's debut on the Rutgers' sidelines, gives the Scarlet Knights a solid boost going into the second week of the season in a consecutive non-league matchup.
Although the Scarlet Knights have the historical advantage over Howard, with a 2-0 series advantage, don't expect Flood or his Rutgers squad to prepare for anything but the Bison's best.
"They're going to make you defend a lot of different schemes," Flood said of Howard in a press conference on Monday afternoon. "They're very multiple on offense. So they challenge you in a number of ways."
The Bison are led on offense by true-freshman quarterback Jamie Cunningham, who came off the bench in the final minutes of last week's AT&T Nation's Football Class, to engineer an eight-play, 49 yard drive to lead Howard to a 30-29 victory over Moorehouse College.
With their starting quarterback position up in the air, the Bison, perhaps unwittingly, add another dynamic to their offense and another bullet point on the list of Rutgers' preparations for this week's matchup.
"In terms of playing them this week, our focus is on playing well from the first play," Flood said. "If you look beyond that, you're putting yourself in a very dangerous situation."
Both Marvin Booker (defensive end) and Paul Carrezola (tight end) who did not participate in Saturday's game against Tulane with injuries, are expected to be back on the field today and will return to practice for the remainder of the week.
Their return will add another dynamic to the Scarlet Knight's plan of attack, not only this weekend but in their league opener against Southern Florida in two weeks.