Rutgers Seasons Ends With 35-14 Loss To WVU

MORGANTOWN, W.V. -- Rutgers finished the season with a 35-14 loss to West Virginia, ending 4-8 as protection on the offensive line and missed assignments in the secondary were problems against. The Scarlet Knights went 1-5 in the Big East, and are not going to a bowl for the first time in six years.

MORGANTOWN, W.V. – Rutgers brought effort, and for that they can head into the offseason with a much clearer conscious, but the dire need to improve the offensive line was displayed one more painful time and a mentally weary defense showed as well.

The offense mustered 203 yards, and only one impressive drive, and that wasn't enough even with No. 23 West Virginia losing three fumbles in the red zone and having a field goal blocked. So, Rutgers left Milan Puskar Stadium like it always has, with a loss.

West Virginia kept its BCS bowl hopes alive with a 35-14 win in front of a frigid 48,386 Saturday, beating Rutgers for the 16th straight time, which is also the Scarlet Knights' losing streak in Morgantown.

If South Florida beats Connecticut tonight, West Virginia heads to a BCS bowl. If Connecticut wins, it goes to the a BCS bowl.

"We have a lot of good, young, talented players," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "We're just not executing well enough. Is it building on this game? No, it's building on a program that's established, had a bad year. Just put this one in the books and move forward."

Rutgers, which lost its sixth straight en route to a 4-8 (1-6 Big East) season and the first significant misstep since the Rutgers program exploded in 2005, will head home early for the first time in six years as attention turns to recruiting, and rebuilding the offensive line.

First on the docket is Schiano's trip to the Midwest this coming week to recruit Iowa Western center Dallas Hendrikson and left tackle Dan Heiar.

It is part of Rutgers' plan to bolster an offensive line that was so ineffective it hampered the offense in every way.

It was evident again against the Mountaineers, who managed six more sacks to push Rutgers' season total to a stunning 61 allowed.

"It's disappointing, not discouraging," Schiano said. "We'll get it fixed."

Rutgers defense bent for three quarters against the Mountaineers, allowing 384 yards but also recovering three fumbles. West Virginia (9-3, 5-2) finished with 523 yards of total offense as quarterback Geno Smith completed 23 of 28 for 352 yards and a score.

"They have real good skill players and speed," Rutgers free safety Khaseem Greene said. "That's one of the hardest things to adjust to playing a spread team like them."

Defensive end Alex Silvestro blocked a field goal at the end of the first half as well, but the offense was lifeless, sans a 12-play, 79-yard drive that resulted in an 18-yard Jordan Thomas touchdown catch to make it 14-7 with left in the first half.

However, that was a rarity.

Rutgers quarterback Chas Dodd was 10 of 19 for 131 yards, and at times couldn't find open receivers and was sacked. The running game was also stagnant, netting 63 yards on 30 carries.

"They gave us plenty of opportunities to go ahead and do something, but we just went out there and lollygagged and didn't do what we had to do," Dodd said. "There are a few plays where I could have escaped one way, other than the way I did, and getting rid of it quicker …it calls into play."

Yet, it wasn't until Tavon Austin's 46-yard touchdown run in the first minute of the fourth quarter made it 28-7 that West Virginia could relax.

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