Rutgers Vs. West Virginia: Rutgers Loses 41-31 to West Virginia

Despite leading by 10 points at the half Rutgers could not hang on against West Virginia in the second half. \ -- Check out, SB Nation's On The Banks for everything Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

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Rutgers Vs. West Virginia Final Score: Rutgers Blanked in Second Half, Loses, 41-31

Rutgers University led West Virginia 31-21 at halftime of an emotional game, where senior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand – paralyzed from the neck down a year ago – led the team out of the tunnel prior to kickoff. But Rutgers could not hang on in the second half as West Virginia outscored the Scarlet Knights, 20-0, en route to a 41-31 victory in a Big East Conference football game Saturday in snowy Piscataway.

The play that changed the game came with 11 minutes remaining in the fourth. Rutgers was clinging to a three-point lead and had the ball at West Virginia's 11-yard line. The Scarlet Knights lined up for a 28-yard field goal with snow pouring into the stadium. The field goal would have given Rutgers a six-point lead, but Rutgers decided to run a fake field goal instead. The attempt at trickery was almost successful, but sophomore wide receiver Brandon Coleman dropped the ball in the end zone, forcing a turnover on downs. West Virginia then took over at their own 11 and drove 89 yards in five minutes to take a 34-31 lead. The Mountaineers would later add an insurance touchdown to put the game out of reach.

Rutgers quarterback, Gary Nova finished 18-for-46 for 235 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. 

The loss drops Rutgers to 5-3 on the season and 2-2 in the Big East. The Scarlet Knights have now lost 17 consecutive games to the Mountaineers. Rutgers hosts the South Florida Bulls next week – a game that will be televised on ESPN3.

- For the latest on all your Rutgers athletics news, visit our Scarlet Knights blog, On The Banks.

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West Virginia Vs. Rutgers Score Update: Rutgers Lead 31-21 At Halftime

After an emotional start to the game, where senior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand led Rutgers onto the field after being paralyzed from the neck down a year ago, Rutgers took an early 3-0 lead. Since then the two offenses have exploded, and after two quarters the Scarlet Knights lead the 25th-ranked Mountaineers ,31-21. 

The high-scoring first half between the Knights and Mountaineers may come as a surprise considering the scene at High Point Solutions Stadium before the game. Weather conditions were so bad to start the game that Rutgers kicker could barely get enough distance on a 40-yard field goal attempt, but have calmed since. The field remained covered with a light coating of snow as the first half came to an end.

Both teams had more than 100 yards rushing in the first half. All of West Virginia's scores have been of the rushing variety, including scampers of 52 and 80 yards courtesy of Shawne Alston and Tavon Austin, respectively. 

Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova is 7-of-19 for 119 yards and two touchdowns. 

The second half of the game can be seen on ABC or ESPN3.

-- For the latest on all your Rutgers athletics news, visit our Scarlet Knights blog, On The Banks.

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VIDEO: Eric LeGrand Leads Rutgers Onto Field Against West Virginia, Crowd Chants '52'

Senior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed from the neck down a year ago in a game against Navy, but wanted to lead his team onto the field before Rutgers Big East match-up against 25th-ranked West Virginia.

As you can imagine it was a sight to behold as LeGrand led his team out onto the snowy field in Piscataway, N.J. at High Point Solutions Stadium – home of the Rutgers football team.

Below is a picture of scene as LeGrand led his team onto the field via @fordhamrams85.

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According to Jason Romano the crowd was chanting "52, 52" – LeGrand's jersey number.

Awesome moment at the Rutgers game with Eric LeGrand leading the boys out on the field. Crowd chanting "52, 52"

And here's a video of the moment via College Gameday.

Eric LeGrand Leads His Rutgers Scarlet Knights On To The Field (via GameDayESPN)

-- For the latest on all your Rutgers athletics news, visit our Scarlet Knights blog, On The Banks.

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Rutgers Vs. West Virginia: Game Time, TV Schedule, Radio Stations, Betting Odds

The Rutgers University football program host nationally-ranked West Virginia University Saturday in a Big East Conference game at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, NJ. The Scarlet Knights (5-2, 2-1 Big East) are trying to defeat the Mountaineers (5-2, 1-1) for the first time in 16 tries, while also trying becoming bowl eligible and hold a spot near the top of the Big East standings. Meanwhile, WVU is trying to rebound from a shocking 43-29 loss to Syracuse University last Friday.

Here's your basic game day information:

  • Game time, kickoff: 3:36 p.m.
  • Television: ABC -- Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Ray Bentley (color analyst).
  • Radio: WOR 710 (Rutgers)
  • Betting odds, point spread: West Virginia seven-point favorite.
  • Series history: The Mountaineers lead series 32-4-2.



-- SB Nation New York will be providing in-game and postgame updates for the West Virginia-Rutgers contest. Check back for injury, in-game and postgame updates. Follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or Jared_E_Smith.

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Rutgers Vs. West Virginia: Scouting The Mountaineers

The Rutgers University football program will face its greatest challenge of its 2011-12 season Saturday as West Virginia University, ranked No. 24 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll and No. 25 in the AP Poll and Bowl Championship Series standings, visits High Point Solutions Stadium for Big East Conference contest in Piscataway, NJ. The Scarlet Knights (5-2, 2-1 Big East) will be trying to snap a 16-game losing streak the the Mountaineers (5-2, 1-1), who last Friday was routed at Syracuse University, 49-23.

For those Rutgers football fans who don't know much about WVU, here's a brief scouting report.

Head Coach

First-year head coach Dana Holgorsen, who was the offensive coordinator of Oklahoma State University last season, took over a program that fits well with his high-octane style. Holgorsen, who is considered an offensive genius, helped the Cowboys finish last season No. 1 in total offense. So far, the Mountaineers have the fifth-best passing offense in the nation.

This Season

Last week, the Mountaineers were stunned on the road by the Orange. However, despite the loss WVU remains nationally ranked and still is the favorite to win the Big East title. Earlier in the season, Sept. 24, the Mountaineers lost to the nation's top program, Louisiana State University, 47-21. A week before, Sept. 17, WVU won at the University of Maryland, 37-31. The lone Mountaineers' Big East victory came against the University of Connecticut, Oct. 8, 43-16.

Offense

Junior quarterback Geno Smith leads a prolific West Virginia offense, which enters the game with the 13th-best scoring offense in the nation (38.3 points per game). Currently, Smith is tops in the league with 356.71 passing yards per game and a 149.88 passing-efficiency rating.

Smith's top target is sophomore wide out Stedman Bailey, who has five straight games with 100 or more receiving yards, and has the second-most catches on the team (41). Meanwhile, junior Tavon Austin has a team-best 48 receptions and is second in the nation in all purpose yards (183.0). The Mountaineers' leading rusher is freshman running back Dustin Garrison, who has 494-rushing yards and five touchdowns on the season.

Overall, West Virginia leads the league in total yards per game (489.1) and is second in points per game (38.3). The Mountaineers pass the ball a lot more than they run it. Entering Saturday's contest, WVU has the fifth-best passing offense in the nation, but is ranked 100 out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision programs in rushing.


Passing

Passing Rushing Sacks
G Rating Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD INT Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Sack YdsL
Paul Millard 3 73.0 7 12 58.3 124 41.3 10.3 1 1 2 3 1 1.5 0 - -
Geno Smith 7 93.0 189 299 63.2 2497 356.7 8.4 18 5 21 -47 -6.7 -2.2 0 - -

Rushing

Rushing Receiving
G Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Rec Yds Y/G Avg TD
Shawne Alston 5 29 137 27.4 4.7 3 0 0 0 0 0
Andrew Buie 4 28 99 24.8 3.5 1 6 18 4.5 3 0
Dustin Garrison 6 74 494 82.3 6.7 5 17 126 21 7.4 0
Trey Johnson 1 3 8 8 2.7 0 0 0 0 0 0
Paul Millard 3 2 3 1 1.5 0 0 0 0 0 0
Geno Smith 7 21 -47 -6.7 -2.2 0 0 0 0 0 0

Receiving

Receiving
G Rec Yds Y/G AVG TD
Andrew Buie 4 6 18 4.5 3 0
Dustin Garrison 6 17 126 21 7.4 0
Ivan McCartney 7 35 464 66.3 13.3 3
Willie Milhouse 6 7 106 17.7 15.1 0
Ryan Nehlen 3 3 49 16.3 16.3 1
Brad Starks 6 8 118 19.7 14.8 4
J.D. Woods 1 2 14 14 7 0

Kicking

Field Goals PAT
G 0-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ FGM FGA PCT XPM XPA PCT pts
Tyler Bitancurt 7 1 - 1 4 - 4 5 - 6 2 - 2 0 - 0 0 0
Tyler Bitancurt 7 - - - - - 12 13 90.0% 32 33 100.0% 68

Defense

Senior defensive tackle Julian Miller, who ranks second in the FBS in collegiate sacks (23), leads a Mountaineer defense that ranks 21st in the nation. However, despite its high ranking WVU has the league's worst rushing defense allowing 190 yards per game.

Last week, the Mountaineer defense gave up a season-high 49 points to a Syracuse offense that ranks 92nd in the nation.

Conclusion

If the Orange showed anything last week, it was that WVU isn't a perfect football team. However, the Mountaineers are the most talented program in the Big East and will find a way to score point and confuse freshman quarterback Gary Nova. For Rutgers to earn an upset victory Saturday, it will need to run the ball and hope that Nova doesn't crack under pressure if the game is close late.

SB Nation New York will have more on the West Virginia-Rutgers contest as the week moves along. Check back for in-game and postgame updates. Follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or Jared_E_Smith.

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Rutgers Football: Mohamed Sanu Added To Biletnikoff Award Watch List

Rutgers University junior wide receiver Mohamed Sanu was placed on the Biletnikoff Award watch list Thursday. The award, which is annual given to the nation's best wide receiver, has been won by well-known names such as Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions), Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) and Michael Crabtree (San Fransisco 49ers).

Currently, Sanu (6-foot-2, 215-pounds) leads the Big East Conference in receptions per game (9.23), is second in receiving yards per game (97.57) and is on pace to break some prolific Big East receiver records. This year, Sanu is on pace to catch 111 passes which would break the school record, held by Scarlet Knight Kenny Britt, who caught 87 passes in a single season, and the league record, which is held by an All-Pro NFL and former Pittsburgh Panther wide receiver, Fitzgerald, who caught 92 passes.

On Sept. 24, against Ohio University, Sanu caught a Big East and school record 16 passes. Sanu finished the game with a collegiate-best 176-receiving yards and two touchdowns.


Receiving Kickoff Returns Punt Returns
G Rec Yds Y/G AVG TD KR YDS AVG Lng TD PR Yds Avg Lng TD
7 65 683 97.6 10.5 6 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 42 6.0 18 0


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