The Scarlet Knights overcame a heartbreaking loss in week three by defeating Navy in Annapolis - a feat no team has accomplished in two years. Before looking ahead to the Big Ten "gauntlet," Rutgers must first take care of business with Tulane visiting High Point Solutions Stadium this Saturday. RU and Tulane meet for the first time since 2012, and the first time in Piscataway since 2010. The Knights overlooked the Green Wave on that homecoming weekend, yielding the upset to a bad Tulane team. Rutgers didn't fare well that season either, finishing 4-8. RU is much better than four years ago, but you don't want to let an overmatched opponent play close with conference play about to start.
With Paul James out for the season with a torn ACL, this should be a good opportunity for Goodwin and Peoples to take hold of the running game. Tulane is not a great team defensively, as they are giving up 203 rushing yards per game. Another good showing against the Green Wave will do a lot to stem fears that the running game is much weaker without PJ.
Tulane Green Wave (1-3) Last week: Lost v. Duke, 13-47
2013 Record: 7-6 (5-3 C-USA)
Head Coach: Curtis Johnson (10-19 Tulane)
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Series: 4-2 Rutgers
Saturday, September 27 - 12:00 PM
Forecast: Clear and sunny, 72 degrees at kickoff, 0% chance of precipitation
Knowing your enemy: Tulane Green Wave - Looking back on what we expected from Tulane in the preseason.
Tulane closes out non-con against Rutgers - NOLA.com preview the Scarlet Knights ahead of Saturday's matchup.
Grading the Green Wave against Duke - A breakdown of each team unit and how they fared against the Blue Devils last Saturday.
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In 2013, Rutgers lost Paul James in the fourth game of the season against Arkansas. True freshman Justin Goodwin filled in admirably in an overtime win against SMU the following week, but the Scarlet Knights never regained that mojo in the running game after James' injury. This season, Rutgers finds themselves in a similar situation after the fourth game of the season once again. Can they march on without their best offensive player? They have two backs capable of carrying the workload, and a veteran offensive line to boot. We might not know much after this Saturday, but it would sure help if the ground and pound continues.