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Behind Enemy Lines w/On the Banks

This weekend the Green Wave travel to New Brunswick to sqaiee against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in their last out of conference game for the 2014 season.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

To get an idea about the Green Wave's opponent this week I talked with On The Banks' Kevin Recio about the Scarlet Knights' new journey in the Big Ten and their big with over Navy this past weekend in Annapolis.

1) Rutgers came off a thrilling win over Navy last week. Was the victory a sign of things to come or an abberation?

It's hard to say because Rutgers has had a lot of success over the service academies going back to the Schiano days. Something about the defensive scheme employed by the coaching staff has ingrained the program to prepare for the triple option with great efficiency. I definitely think the victory is a sign of things to come, at least in the sense that Rutgers can compete with bowl-bound teams. Many thought RU would be a doormat this season entering the first season in the B1G, but I predicted Rutgers would go bowling at 6-6 or even 7-5, including a win over Navy. That's really due to two reasons: the Big Ten just hasn't been very good the past couple of seasons, and that RU lost quite a bit of experienced talent from the 2012 squad.

2) Rutgers, like Tulane is joining a brand new conference this year. What's been the buzz around the campus and what not about the Scarlet Knights being in the Big 10?

There is no doubt that every single fan of the program is excited and thrilled to be in the B1G. To be able to play programs like Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State every season is a dream, considering the Scarlet Knights were looking at future conference schedules that included San Diego State. Regardless of the win-loss record after the 2014 season is over, knowing that the program found a home within the lucrative and prestigious Big Ten is comforting. Besides the possibility that Rutgers struggles against better competition, there has been nothing but positives regarding the conference move.

3) What are some of the guys to watch on the defensive side of the ball?

Darius Hamilton is the star. He was a former five-star recruit who spurned basically every elite program in the nation to play for his home school, and he's playing up to his hype so far. Steve Longa is just a sophomore but he is already turning heads in the B1G due to his blazing speed, whether it's rushing the quarterback or dropping into coverage. Finally, Kemoko Turay is the breakout player for 2014. With just one year of high school football under his belt prior to Rutgers, the redshirt freshman defensive end has become the pass-rushing specialist for RU. He leads the conference with four sacks and has two blocked kicks to add to his stats, including this ridiculous block against Penn State.

4) What are some impact offensive players to watch?

Paul James was on his way to an All-American season before tearing his ACL last week against Navy, but his replacements are definitely capable of shouldering the load. Backup RBs Justin Goodwin and Desmon Peoples combined for 186 yards rushing against Navy, and provide a thunder and lightning change-of-pace running attack that can give opponents fits. Leonte Carroo looks like a future NFL player at wide receiver with some of the best hands in the game, and Tyler Kroft was a popular choice for all-conference tight end in the preseason. Of course, the offense can depend on the play of QB Gary Nova, who can be on one week, then completely off the next. We'll see which Gary comes to play on Saturday.

5) Score prediction

I really don't think Tulane has the horses to get the win in this one, and Rutgers is riding high after leaving Annapolis with a win. RU wins 34-17.