The No. 18 Rutgers football team is not taking anything for granted this Saturday afternoon.
As the Scarlet Knights prep to go their Mid-American Conference foe Kent State (4-0, 6-1), Rutgers knows that they can't overlook the Golden Flashes, who have quickly established themselves as a potential threat to their currently undefeated record.
Over the course of the last few weeks, MAC schools have surprisingly toppled their Big East opponents, including a Toledo victory over Cincinnati last week.
"They have a coach who has a tremendous amount of experience at the Division I level, some very successful programs, and he's done a good job with this team," Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said in his press conference earlier this week.
"Certainly our players know that teams from that conference don't go anywhere in the country and are intimidated. "
With five straight victories under their belt, including last week's 41-24 win over Western Michigan, the Golden
Flashes are certainly used to dominating on the football field, led by rushing duo Dri Archer and Trayion Durham.
The two have combined for 1336 yards on the ground and 15 touchdowns, making them more than a worthy opponent for a Rutgers rushing defense that's ranked amongst the best in the country.
The Scarlet Knights allow, on average, just over 69 yards on the ground per game and have given up only two rushing touchdowns all year, but the Kent State rushing tandem might just present the biggest challenge the Rutgers line has yet to face this season.
The two were particularly effective in last week's win over Western Michigan, combining for 186 yards and three touchdowns.
It's Archer in particular though who has given Rutgers the greatest pause as they focus on a game plan for this weekend's homecoming matchup.
"It's almost video game-like statistics," Flood said of the junior running back, who averages over 10 yards per carry. "So he is a tremendous, tremendous offensive weapon, and again, the most dynamic offensive player that I certainly have seen on film or on TV this year."
Although Rutgers has yet to allow a 100-yard rushing game in 11 trips to the gridiron, the Golden Flashes, who average 33.7 points per game, have also averaged 238 rushing yards per game since their lone loss to Kentucky in week two.
Going through this week's practice schedule, the Scarlet Knights know that their greatest chance at victory, and maintaining their undefeated record and national ranking, might come at the hand of forcing turnovers and taking advantage of every single one of the Golden Flashes' mistakes.
"I don't think it was a surprise to anybody if you come in and you say whoever wins the turnover battle is going to have an opportunity to win the game," Flood said. "I think we all know that; you watch enough football to know that."