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A Must-Win Showdown: Week 11 News & Notes

Everything you need to know about Saturday's big game.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers (3-6) is finally done with the brutal Big Ten gauntlet, and their next three games look much more winnable than the last three. But even at 4-6, Nebraska is no pushover, as they're coming off a thrilling upset win over previously undefeated Michigan State. Here's everything you need to know as Rutgers looks to keep its hopes for bowl eligibility alive.

Injury Report

I wrote about the injury report in full yesterday, which you can conveniently check out right here.

Once again, WR Leonte Carroo's questionable status is the biggest takeaway from the injury report. He continues to nurse an apparent ankle injury that he sustained against Indiana, and aggravated against Ohio State. The star receiver hasn't seen the field since the first half of the Ohio State game, but hopes to make his return in a must-win game on Saturday.

For what it's worth, Carroo posted a picture on Instagram last night with the caption "Sorry for the set-back.... Now let's get back to business. #ChopNebraska."

Also questionable is co-starting RB Paul James, who is dealing with a lower leg injury. James did not play last week against Michigan, but Kyle Flood said after the game he would have been available in an emergency, so it doesn't sound like his injury is too serious. Either way, we'll keep an eye on his status throughout the week.

Secondary injuries continue to burn Rutgers, as SS Davon Jacobs will sit out again on Saturday as he deals with an upper body injury he sustained against Indiana. Plus, the statuses of starting CB Blessuan Austin and backup SS Najee Clayton are uncertain, as both are listed as questionable with upper body injuries.

Here's a look at the biggest names from this week's injury report.


* SS Davon Jacobs (upper body)

* WR John Tsimis (lower body)

* RB Desmon Peoples (upper body)


* WR Leonte Carroo (lower body)

* RB Paul James (lower body)

* CB Blessuan Austin (upper body)

* SS Najee Clayton (upper body)


* WR Carlton Agudosi (lower body)

* WR Janarion Grant (lower body)

* LT Keith Lumpkin (upper body)

* MLB Kaiwan Lewis (upper body)

* WLB Steve Longa (lower body)

* SS Kiy Hester (lower body)

Flood Speaks

Kyle Flood spoke to the media on Monday ahead of Saturday's game against the Cornhuskers. Here are the highlights.

* Flood opens by saying he looks forward not only returning to High Point Solutions Stadium to face Nebraska, but also honoring our veterans on Saturday's Military Appreciation Day.

* Flood acknowledges that he and the players know they must win out to reach bowl eligibility, but maintains that they can't let that interfere with their day-to-day operations.

* A reporter asks about what it means for Grant to win Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season. Flood calls Grant a "spectacular" return man, but also gives credit to the other 11 players on the unit.

* Flood discusses Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong, who is a threat both with his arm and his feet. Flood calls him a good decision maker and a very good passer who can make a difference in the run game.

* When asked how Nebraska's offense under Mike Reilly differs from the Bo Pelini offense they saw last season, Flood says it's a little bit more traditional this year with less focus on quarterback runs.

* Flood is asked if he feels his job security is tied to bowl eligibility. He says "if you're looking for job security, being a college football coach is probably not the profession you should be looking for." He notes that he feels he has the full support of Rutgers administration.

* When asked why he opted to burn WR Dontae Owens' redshirt so late in the season, Flood said he thinks it's important to play the players he thinks gives them the best chance to win, and he felt Owens was one of those players. He expects his experience playing as a true freshman will help him in the long run.

* Flood says looking at film from last year's game against Nebraska won't do them much good, since there is a new coach and new schemes for the Cornhuskers. They're more focused on Nebraska game tape from this year.

* When asked if he is comfortable committing to Hester at SS for the rest of the year, Flood doesn't give a firm yes or no, instead praising Hester for learning on the field so early in his career.

* A reporter asks if Flood has ever dealt with the depth being tested like this since coming to Rutgers in 2005. He says he doesn't recall a health situation like they've dealt with this year.

* Flood is asked about the offense fumbling a snap in five straight games, and he says it's ultimately on both QB Chris Laviano and C Derrick Nelson to work on their exchange, and it's an unforced error that he's trying to eliminate.

Knight Knotes

* Rutgers will look for their first ever win against the Cornhuskers on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights fell to Nebraska 42-24 last year. The only other meeting between the teams took place in 1920 at the Polo Grounds, where the Huskers won 28-0.

* Rutgers' defense is looking to turn things around. The Scarlet Knights have allowed no fewer than 42 points in their last four games.

* Nebraska is a puzzling team. While their 4-6 record isn't too impressive, they were able to beat No. 7 Michigan State last Saturday, albeit in controversial fashion. They also have a few tough losses on the season - BYU beat them on a last-second Hail Mary, Miami beat them in overtime, they lost by just two points to Wisconsin and Northwestern, and by one point to Illinois. On the other hand, they did lose by two scores to Purdue...

With the season on the line on Saturday, how do you feel about Rutgers' chances? Will Carroo make his return? Will the defense snap its streak of 42-point games? Will the offense get anything going? Sound off in the comments below.