RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS vs. NAVY MIDSHIPMEN
High Point Solutions Stadium (52,454/FieldTurf)
Saturday, October 15 • 2 p.m. • ESPN3.com
ESPN3.com — Dave Popkin and Adam Archuleta
WOR-AM 710 (flagship)
Rutgers and Navy meet for the 24th time Saturday in a series that dates to 1891 … Each team has won 11 games and there has been one tie in the series … The schools have met 13 times since 1995 … Rutgers had won three straight from 2005-07 before Navy took the 2008 matchup 23-21 in the most recent meeting … The 2008 game featured five lead changes, including Navy’s go-ahead field goal that stood as the gamewinner with two minutes left in the fourth quarter … Rutgers has won three straight at home against Navy.
RUTGERS (4-1, 2-0 BIG EAST)
Greg Schiano (Bucknell ’88)
63-63, 11th season
Rutgers is off to its best start since 2006, with only a two-point loss at North Carolina Sept. 10 keeping the Scarlet Knights from entering Saturday’s game unbeaten … Rutgers is 2-0 in BIG EAST play for just the second time, with the last 2-0 start coming in 2006 … The Scarlet Knights have already surpassed last year’s total of one BIG EAST win … The turnaround can be directly attributed to the improvement of Rutgers’ defense … Rutgers ranked eighth in the BIG EAST in total defense last year, allowing an average of 374.2 yards per game … This year, the Scarlet Knights are second in the conference in total defense (299.0 ypg) and first in scoring defense (15.2 ppg) and pass efficiency defense (104.0) … Rutgers had just 17 sacks last season and has 20 through five games this year … The Scarlet Knights lead the nation with 22 takeaways (12 interceptions, 10 fumble recoveries) … LB Khaseem Greene leads the BIG EAST in tackles (9.0 per game) … DE Justin Francis has a team-high four sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss … S Duron Harmon leads the team with four interceptions … Freshman QB Gary Nova is expected to make his second career start … Nova has completed 32 of 68 passes for 412 yards and four touchdowns without an interception … WR Mohamed Sanu leads the BIG EAST in receptions (9.0 per game).
Ken Niumatalolo (Hawaii ’89)
29-17, fourth season
Navy started the season with back-to-back wins, but looks to rid itself of a three-game losing streak following a 63-35 setback to Southern Mississippi last week in Annapolis, Md. … The three schools that have defeated Navy (South Carolina, Air Force, Southern Miss) are a combined 13-4 … Navy has won 18 games against automatic-qualifying BCS opponents since 2003 — the most of any school in the nation … Navy and its trademark triple-option offense, enters Saturday’s game as the national leader in rushing (366.0 yards per game) … The Midshipmen are 118th nationally in passing, averaging just 97.4 yards per game … QB Kriss Proctor has rushed for 524 yards and seven touchdowns and has thrown for 441 yards and six TDs … FB Alexander Teich has 408 rushing yards and four touchdowns … LB Matt Warrick leads the team with 41 tackles … LB Matt Brewer has four forced fumbles … Navy is the least-penalized team in the nation (2.8 penalties per game).