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.
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