PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — There was a time when a game against a Mid-American Conference program could be counted as a win for Rutgers.
That’s changed this season.
Ohio is ranked No, 23 and MAC teams have posted wins over Big East foes Cincinnati, Connecticut and South Florida already, with Cincinnati dropping its first game of the season to Toledo last weekend.
It’s no wonder the No. 18 Scarlet Knights (7-0, 4-0 Big East) are wary heading into Saturday’s homecoming game against Kent State (6-1, 4-0 MAC) and its sensational running back-returner Dri Archer.
Archer leads the nation in all-purpose yards (a 212.9 yard average). He ranks 33rd nationally in rushing (98.1) and is first in kickoff return yardage (47-yard average).
“You just have to keep doing the things that got you to this point. You can’t take anybody lightly,” said Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova, who threw four second-half touchdown passes last week against Temple. “Everybody can give you their best shot. Obviously we just got a great example. Cincinnati just lost to a MAC team. The MAC, you can’t take anybody lightly. Definitely a top contender in Kent State that is going to come in here and fight their heart out. We have to be ready for the shots they’re going to give us, and we have to respond.”