Rutgers Football: 5 Things to Watch for in the Pinstripe Bowl
Rutgers' Scarlet Knights fans will have their first opportunity to watch the Knights in postseason play since the 2009 season when Rutgers defeated future Big East member, the University of Central Florida in what was then known as the St. Petersburg Bowl—now the Beef O'Brady's Bowl.
This season, RU supporters won't have to travel very far to see their team, as the Knights will play Iowa State in the big ball park in the Bronx's Yankee Stadium on December 30th at 3:20 PM.
Although RU fell short in its opportunity to win at least a share in the Big East, the bowl game still represents opportunity for the Scarlet Knights.
It is, for one thing, an opportunity for a nine-win season and another bowl championship against a BCS conference team.
Secondly, it is an opportunity for a month's worth of practice for a young football team.
Iowa State, despite its 6-6 record, sports wins over some quality teams this season.
In September, the Cyclones beat UConn at Rentchler Field, a feat RU could not accomplish this season.
Iowa State also has victories over Iowa and Texas, and its win over Ok. State is the reason the Cowboys aren't playing for the National Championship this January.
RU should have its hands full with this team in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Here is what to look for...
A Pretty Potent Iowa State Rushing Attack
The Cyclones come in averaging 181 rushing yards per game, good enough for 35th among FBS football teams.
James White is the leading rusher, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, but another guy to watch out for is quarterback Jared Barnett, who has picked up 435 rushing yards on 99 attempts this season.
WR, Darius Reynolds Is a Game-Breaking Threat
In what has been an inconsistent passing year for the Cyclones - Iowa State is ranked 71st in the nation in passing yards - Darius Reynolds has been the Cyclones' best threat in the passing game.
The wide receiver has caught 41 balls for 655 yards, and averages 16 yards per catch.
He has also scored seven TDs this year.
Rutgers' Inconsistent Rushing vs. Iowa State's Bad Rush Defense
Toward the end of the year, Jawan Jamison emerged as RU's top running back threat, particularly after Savon Huggins went down with a knee injury.
It remains to be seen whether Huggins will return for the bowl game, but the Knights should look to get Jamison going against a porous Iowa State run defense.
Iowa State gives up over 195 yards per game on the ground, ranking them 95th out of 120 FBS teams against the run.
Dodd vs Nova
Who will start?
Schiano maintains he has yet to decide, and he also maintains that he has "two quality quarterbacks".
It will be interesting to see who starts and how quick Schiano's hook is for the starter if the starter comes out slow against Iowa State.
Mohamed Sanu's Last Game?
He just received All-American honorable mention honors in a year that includes fellow wide receivers Justin Blackmon, Robert Woods, and Keenan Allen.
He is draft-eligible as a junior, and he projects to be a day-one selection in the NFL draft.
Does he leave after his monster season where he caught 109 balls, or does he hone his skills for another year at RU?
His RU degree means a lot to him and his parents would like to see him get his education first. That could be a factor in his decision.