PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers may be without last year's star player against Cincinnati, said coach Kyle Flood, who declared running back Jawan Jamison as 50-50 for kickoff.
Jamison suffered an ankle injury midway through the Army game. Though he returned from the injury, Jamison did not practice yesterday.
"We have great confidence in [Savon Huggins] and Paul James, who would probably get his first action if that happened," said starting quarterback Gary Nova. "Jawan's going to try as hard as he can to play and we'll see what happens.
Jamison ran for 200 yards and two touchdowns in last season's victory over the Bearcats and sits 47 yards short of 1,000 on the season.
Huggins will fill in as the primary back if Jamison cannot go with James, a redshirt freshman walk-on, stepping into the No. 2 position.
"[I am] very confident that Savon would take the bulk of the carries in the game if Jawan couldn't go," Flood said. "And then after that, you'd see P.J. James, and anything beyond that, we'll have to work out this week, because you don't rep more than three guys. And with Jawan and P.J. taking the reps in practice, we'd have to figure out what the depth would be beyond that. I would be very confident that Savon could take the bulk of the carries and do a good job with us."
Following the victory over Army, Jamison told reporters he feels fine and expects to play.
"From what [the doctors] said, it's not bad at all," Jamison said. "It's not a significant injury. I just need ice to get the swelling down, get the stiffness out, heat it up and it should be good."
Flood said he and offensive coordinator Dave Brock have no plans to change the play-calling. The Scarlet Knights (8-1, 4-0) are happy with the progress of the offense, despite slow starts, and any changes hurt from a developmental standpoint.
"I think if we leave who we are, we'd be throwing away a lot of experiences that I think we've learned from as the season has gone on here," Flood said. "You've got to know who you are in all phases of the game."
Nova, who completed 14 of 17 passes against Army and threw one touchdown and one interception, said he sees Rutgers playing to its strength with the current strategy.
"We won," Nova said. "I don't really care what my stats like. I don't think anybody on the team does as long as we win the game. As a quarterback, you always want the ball and you want to throw the ball 50 times, but if it's not the game plan for the week, I don't hang my head on it.
Rutgers will have to prepare for both quarterbacks, but fifth-year senior Brendon Kay is expected to start over Munchie Legaux for the Bearcats. Cincinnati Butch Jones named Kay the starter for the game.
"I think they're very similar," said fifth-year senior cornerback Brandon Jones, who intercepted Legaux last year. "They're both athletic guys and they both throw the ball well. Munchie is very athletic, and it's the same scheme [without him]. They both play the scheme well."
Kay recorded 244 yards and two touchdowns in his debut last week against Temple. Legaux completed just 52 percent of his passes and threw nine picks in his eight games as a starter this season.
"I think it's a better version of their offense from last year," Flood said. "I think those players that were on their offense last year that were juniors are now seniors. I don't know their team intimately to know the personalities. … I think they're a little bit better this year. So it's going to be another great challenge for our defense to match up with them."
Senior linebacker Khaseem Greene added another Big East Defensive Player of the Week award to his growing trophy case after 22 tackles against Army. Greene now has 96 tackles on the season and could climb as high as third in school history with a solid final four games in his college career.
With 96 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks and a defensive touchdown, Greene is making a strong case to repeat as defensive player of the year in the conference.