If Syracuse’s worry this week has been Mohamed Sanu, then Rutgers’ concern has been squarely on Ryan Nassib.
Nassib comes into Saturday’s game against the Scarlet Knights having been named to the Big East Honor Roll for four consecutive weeks. He had a 16-of-24 performance for 213 yards and two touchdown passes against Toledo, and is currently 24th in the nation in pass efficiency at 156.0.
“Offensively I think it all starts and ends with the quarterback, No. 12,” Schiano said. “He’s really, really become a very good player, really good player.”
Last season, Nassib was solid, throwing for 2334 yards and 19 touchdowns with a 56.4 completion percentage, but he also threw eight interceptions. Against Rutgers last year, Nassib completed 16-of-31 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown.
This year, Nassib already has 939 yards and nine touchdowns, completing 71.4 percent of his passes while being intercepted only once. With one more touchdown pass, he will tie Troy Nunes for fourth on SU’s career touchdown passes list with 31.
“He’s improved quite a bit,” Schiano said. “He seems so much more confident, so much more quick with his decision making. He looks physically stronger, thus the ball is thrown physically better.”
The Orange has been able to take advantage of Nassib’s improvement.
“The thing about 12 is not only is he a pocket passer,” Schiano said. “I mean, he’s very good on the move. They run a lot of boots and nakeds. He’s quick with his body.”