Rutgers @ Fresno State Preview
Added by Anthony Rodriguez on August 27, 2013.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are on the brink of opening up the 2013 season. The team will travel to California Thursday night to take on Fresno State.
The match-up will test the Scarlet Knights right away, as many experts are expecting Fresno State to make a run at a BCS bowl game.
There are a lot of questions surrounding the Knights’ defense and the Knights’ secondary will have the toughest match-up in the game, as they will face Fresno quarterback Derek Carr (brother of David Carr, former number one overall pick), who is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. The match-up can prove to be a good learning experience for a young secondary that will face another top quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, later in the season.
Fresno State quarterback, Derek Carr, will be the player to watch when Rutgers takes on Fresno State Thursday night.
The Knights secondary only returns one starter from last year, safety Lorenzo Waters. The other three starters will be starting for the first time on Thursday and the fact that it comes against one of the three quarterbacks returning from a 4,000 yard passing season, is going to be a tough challenge.
The unit believes they are ready to step up to the challenge, but if they falter, the team will have to rely on an experienced offense to bail them out.
Leading the Knights offense is junior quarterback Gary Nova and redshirt junior wide receiver Brandon Coleman. Nova, who has faced a lot of criticism in his time as the team’s quarterback, has performed well during the offseason. He has cut weight and seems to have progressed mentally.
The opening game will test how much Nova has actually progressed and the team might need him to have an Arkansas-like performance if the defense shows its youth.
One area where the Knights’ defense should be successful is in the battle between the two lines. Fresno State’s offensive line has had some struggles in the past, so expect the Knights’ defensive line to have a strong outing Thursday night. If the team could get to Carr quickly, it would undoubtedly benefit the secondary.
Even though the Knights are loaded with talent, they will head into Thursday night’s contest as an underdog. For the team to have a chance, the defense has to get pressure on Carr and the Knights have to have a strong offensive showing. If not, it could be a double digit loss for the Knights to start the 2013 campaign.