RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS
Florida International Golden Panthers
FIU Stadium (18,000/Field Turf)
BIG EAST Network — Mike Gleason and John Congemi
WOR-AM 790, WCTC-AM 1450, WPEN-FM 97.5 (flagships)
Saturday’s game will be just the second matchup between Rutgers and Florida International … The Scarlet Knights took last year’s meeting 23-15 at Rutgers Stadium behind a 121-yard day by RB Joe Martinek and three field goals by K San San Te … Rutgers held the Golden Panthers to 42 rushing yards and registered five sacks … Florida International head coach Mario Cristobal was an assistant at Rutgers from 2001-03.
Greg Schiano (Bucknell ’88)
56-55, 10th season
It took Rutgers roughly a half to get going, but in the end, the Scarlet Knights proved too much for Norfolk State in a 31-0 win last Thursday … Rutgers managed two first-half field goals, the second coming at the second-quarter gun, to cling to a 6-0 lead at halftime before the Scarlet Knights took control in the third quarter … Rutgers limited Norfolk State to 156 total yards and just 25 rushing yards … The special teams unit blocked two punts — both by BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Week Brandon Bing … RB Joe Martinek ran for 109 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for his fifth career 100-yard game … QB Tom Savage completed 10 of 19 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown, while RB Mohamed Sanu had three receptions for 65 yards … LB Steve Beauharnais had a team-high seven tackles, while DE Alex Silvestro had four tackles for loss and a sack among his five total tackles … Rutgers was 5-for-5 in red zone scoring chances … The Scarlet Knights held Norfolk State without a third-down conversion in 12 attempts … Since 2009, Rutgers has held seven opponents to less than 50 rushing yards and has gone 7-0 in those games … Rutgers plays five consecutive home games following this weekend’s trip to Miami.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL (0-0)
Mario Cristobal (Miami (Fla.) ’93)
9-27, fourth season
Florida International will open its 2010 season with Saturday’s game against Rutgers in what is being billed as the biggest home game in the program’s brief history … Florida International began playing football in 2002, joined the Bowl Subdivision in 2004 and became a member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2005 … Head coach Mario Cristobal inherited a team that went 0-12 in 2006 and has won nine games in the past three years, including a 5-7 season in 2008 … The Golden Panthers were 3-9 last season and were the only team outside the Southeastern Conference to play both Alabama and Florida … The wins were against Western Kentucky (37-20), Louisiana (20-17 in overtime) and North Texas (35-28) … The Golden Panthers have a challenging schedule ahead of them in 2010 with road games at Texas A&M, Maryland and Pittsburgh following Saturday’s opener … The top player is WR Ty Hilton, who had 57 receptions for 632 yards and five touchdowns and averaged 28.8 yards on 22 kickoff returns last season.