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USF Bulls

Rutgers defense presents tough test for USF

Special correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 12:25 PM

While playing on a short week is never ideal and always provides a challenge for coaching staffs and players, University of South Florida offensive coordinator Todd Fitch believes the complexity of Rutgers' defense is making the challenge even more difficult.

"This is one of the most challenging things I think I've been through, because of the short week and the type of team we're playing," he said. "If we were playing a static team that plays two or three fronts and plays kind of a vanilla defense, it's a lot easier in a short week transition."

The Scarlet Knights defense is working under new leadership following the departure of Greg Schiano, who served as both head coach and defensive coordinator, but many of the principles have been kept in place by new coordinator Robb Smith.

Led by preseason All-American LB Khaseem Greene, Rutgers allowed 12 points to Tulane and shut out Howard last week. In two games this season, the Scarlet Knights have allowed a combined 82 rushing yards.

"I always call (the Rutgers defense) crazy," QB B.J. Daniels said. "They try to do a lot of different things to confuse the offense, the offensive line especially, and the quarterback. It's just a lot of moving parts. Seeing them year in, year out, you just have make sure you're focused and dialed in on what you're supposed to be doing."

Daniels also admitted that the Rutgers defense treats him differently than other defenses do and is more oriented toward limiting his running capabilities.

JAMISON 'NICE': After allowing 278 rushing yards to Nevada last week, the USF defense has another big test ahead of it in Rutgers sophomore RB Jawan Jamison.

Jamison has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of his last three games, including 110 on 10 carries last week.

The Bulls' defense excelled against the Rutgers ground game last season, allowing a net minus-7 rushing yards total. Jamison was limited to 12 yards on 15 carries.

USF LB Sam Barrington hopes for more of the same this season.

"We definitely want to make sure we're on our assignments more (than last week) and we're more productive on defense," he said. "(We want to) hold them to as minimum everything as we can: rushing yards (and) passing yards. They've got a great group of receivers, they've got a nice running back and we just want to do a great job against those guys."

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