|Rutgers RB Jawan Jamison is expected to be a game-time decision on Saturday after injuring his ankle last week vs. Army. The winner of Saturday's Scarlet Knights-Bearcats game could be in strong position to win the conference. (US Presswire)|
5 storylines for Week 11
1. Can Rutgers step up on offense?
The last time Rutgers played at Nippert Stadium, the Bearcats hung 69 on the Scarlet Knights in a 31-point victory in 2010. The Scarlet Knights probably won’t need 70 to defeat Cincinnati on Saturday, but they will need a better offensive effort than they’ve put forth over the past two games. Last week vs. Army, Rutgers had just seven points early in the fourth quarter before outscoring the Black Knights, 21-0, over the final eight minutes. In Rutgers’ previous game, QB Gary Nova tossed six interceptions as the Scarlet Knights fell for the first time this season. If RB Jawan Jamison (ankle) is out, Nova may need to shoulder a bigger load than usual. Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said Thursday that Jamison’s ankle is around 75 percent. Jamison could be a game-time decision.
Cincinnati senior QB Brendon Kay will start for the second straight week after usurping junior QB Munchie Legaux for the position. In last week’s 34-10 win over Temple, Kay threw for 244 yards and added 71 on the ground. Kay is more of a game manager than a playmaker for the Bearcats, but isn’t needed to carry the offense. Cincinnati will look to wear down the Scarlet Knights with a steady dose of George Winn. The Bearcats’ senior RB already has nine rushing touchdowns and leads the Big East in rushing yards per game (108.8). Kay also has an electrifying scat-back in Ralph David Abernathy IV and a trio of dependable receivers in Kenbrell Thompkins, Damon Julian and Anthony McClung.
3. Which Syracuse defense will show up in Columbia?
The Orange defense has been one of the more schizophrenic units in the conference in 2012. In a 14-13 victory last month, the Orange contained a Pitt offense that likely has several future NFL players at the skilled positions. Syracuse also surrendered 23 points in just a half against South Florida and wasted a record-setting performance by QB Ryan Nassib in allowing 42 in an opening-week loss to Northwestern. The Orange face a daunting task in slowing down Missouri RB Kendial Lawrence and WR Dorial Green-Beckham. If the defense can limit explosive plays against the Tigers, Syracuse has a decent chance of pulling off the road win. The Nassib-led offense is on pace to set a number of school records.
Bulls coach Skip Holtz has yet to decide on a starter for Saturday’s game at Miami (Fla.) in the battle between freshman Matt Floyd and junior Bobby Eveld. Holtz said both were attentive and focused this week in practice. He hinted that both could see action against the Hurricanes. Daniels is out with leg and ankle injuries. While it might be a stretch for the Bulls to make a bowl game this season, the in-state rivalry has significant recruiting implications.
5. Will Temple end its longest losing streak of the season when it travels to West Point?
The Owls have allowed more than 40 points per game during a frustrating four-game losing streak. The game at Army will be Temple’s best chance for one more win this season. Temple caps the regular season next week vs. Syracuse. While Army’s unorthodox, triple-option offense can be confusing, it’s not as explosive as the Orange attack.
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