Rutgers latest tasked with slowing Archer

October, 24, 2012
10/24/12
10:30
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Rutgers is preparing this week to face an offensive and special-teams threat who netted 115 yards and two touchdowns this past Saturday.

And that was on a bad day.

A really, really bad by Dri Archer's standards.

Kent State's all-purpose star has been a threat to score any time he is on the field this season -- from any position.

Take a look:
  • The 5-foot-8, 175-pound redshirt junior leads the nation in kick return average (47.7) and all-purpose yards per game (212.9). He is tied for third nationally in scoring (12 points per game).
  • Saturday's performance in a win over Western Michigan marked his fourth multi-touchdown game of the year, though his other three all featured three touchdowns.
  • Archer averages 98.1 rushing yards per game, 10.1 yards per carry and 39.7 receiving yards per game, and he is tied for the team lead in catches with 20.
  • He is the only player in the nation to record a passing, rushing, receiving and return touchdown this season.
  • Of his 100 touches this season (68 rush, 20 catch, 11 returns), Archer has notched 24 plays of 20 yards or more and 40 plays of 10 yards or more.

Kyle Flood, your thoughts?

"The things that you would imagine would make him a good kick-returner are also what make him very difficult to tackle in the open field," the first-year Rutgers coach said during his weekly press conference. "If he gets through your first line of defense and into the open field, he's just a dynamic player. He's a onestep change of direction type of runner, and you'd better get him down early because the longer the play goes, the tougher it's going to be."

Archer, who was academically ineligible last season, has scored a touchdown in every game so far for the 6-1 Golden Flashes, who are 4-0 in the Mid-American Conference.

The Scarlet Knights are tasked with limiting Archer and his video-game-like numbers as they try to protect their perfect season.

"He is a tremendous, tremendous offensive weapon," Flood said, "and again, the most dynamic offensive player that I certainly have seen on film or on TV this year. Will be a tremendous challenge to our defense to try to minimize his impact on the game."

Matt Fortuna | email

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