Time: 3:36 p.m., High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, N.J.
TV/Radio: ABC, 710-WOR, 1450-AM, 97.5 FM, 88.7 WRSU
Series: West Virginia leads 32-4-2
Last meeting: Dec. 4, 2010: West Virginia won, 35-14
Coaches: Rutgers – Greg Schiano (11th season, 64-65); West Virginia – Dana Holgorsen (1st season, 5-2)
- The Losing Streak. The last time Rutgers beat West Virginia in football, gas cost $1.11 per gallon, Miles Shuler was one year old and Greg Schiano was six years out of college. Schiano is winless in 10 attempts against the Mountaineers and tomorrow may be one of the final chances to win with recent conference realignment developments.
- bELieve 52. Eric LeGrand will lead the Scarlet Knights out of the tunnel in what will be an emotionally charged buildup to kickoff. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 3:20 to support LeGrand as he leads the team.
- Speed Test. West Virginia will be the true test of Rutgers' improved speed on defense. The Scarlet Knights have seen spread packages, but nothing tests the speed of the defense like WVU.
Offensively, quarterback Geno Smith drew comparisons Joe Namath from Greg Schiano and defensive tackle Scott Vallone said he is the best Big East quarterback he ever played against. In seven games, smith has 2,497 passing yards and 18 touchdowns this season to just five interceptions. WVU's main skill weapon is Tavon Austin, who torched Rutgers last season. The speedy Austin leads the Mountaineers with 48 receptions for 624 yards and two touchdowns. He also averages 23.8 yards per kick return and has a touchdown.
|Wide Receiver Tavon Austin|
2. Don't abandon the run. West Virginia is toward the bottom of the conference in rushing defense and true freshman Savon Huggins is building steam after a solid performance against Louisville. Add in anticipated rain and snow flurries and the run game is a major key for victory.
3. Flush It. A lot of key players made game-costing mistakes against Louisville. The best thing for veterans like San San Te and Mark Harrison to do this week is wipe away last week's blunders by treating this game as business as usual.
2. Unleash Austin. Rutgers is faster defensively, but nobody has Austin Speed. The Mountaineers need to find a way to get him the ball in open space and allow him to do the rest.
3. Improve Kickoff Coverage. WVU is worst in the league in kickoff coverage. With Rutgers return man Jeremy Deering hungry for a chance to prove himself, the Mountaineers cannot allow the sophomore to have any big returns.