Our series taking a team-by-team look at the marquee nonconference faces the Big East will see in the fall continues today with Rutgers.
To read previous entries, click here.
Offensive opponent to watch: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State. Rutgers' re-tooled secondary will get quite the first test come this fall, as they travel cross-country to face the Bulldogs for a Thursday night opener. Then, they will see Carr in his first act since completing better than 67 percent of his passes last season for 4,104 yards with 37 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. The younger brother of former No. 1 NFL pick David Carr set a MWC-record for passing yards last season and was named conference offensive player of the year. His four 400-yard passing games last season also set a conference record.
Defensive opponent to watch: Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas. Smith posted a team-best 9.5 sacks last season, starting in all 12 games for the Razorbacks. He notched 52 total tackles, including 13 for loss, broke-up four passes, forced one fumble and finished with 12 quarterback hurries. The All-SEC honorable mention end is a valuable pass-rushing threat who should give the Scarlet Knights one final strong test on Sept. 21 before they move on to conference play.