Rutgers loses to West Virginia 34-19

Signature win eludes Knights, despite clear improvement in its second Big East game of the year.

How do you write up a game when you don't know whether to be frustrated or pleased.

In the past two years Rutgers has lost to WVa by a combined score of 120-7.

This year's Rutgers team isn't anyone's punk. The Knights showed that on the field today. Not only that, but by all appearances Greg Schiano is coming closer to delivering on his promises of a team that can play with anyone.

Just one week after WVa came within a hair's breath of beating number one Miami, Rutgers gave the Mountaineers a tussle before falling 34-19. In fact, looking at this game you had to figure that this was a game that Rutgers could have won and that is where the frustration comes in.

The Knights lost this game just as much as the Mounties won it.

WVa drove the length of the field on its first possession for an easy score.

Things didn't look good, but after that Rutgers shut them down. With just two seconds left in the first half RU was down by a score of only 10-3. More than that the Knights had forced the Mountaineers into a fourth down situation on West Virginia 17 yard line.

That is when disaster struck. Rather than punt the ball the Mountaineers threw a pass to an uncovered Chris Henry who took it the distance for WVa touchdown.

Even then the Knights were not out of it. RU kept within striking distance most of the second half but untimely penalties and a failure to convert at crunch time made this game another in RU's long list of "what might have beens."

Things to feel good about:

  • Justise Hairston had a phenomenal game. On at least two plays Justise pushed the entire WVU line backwards four yards. The strength and tenacity of this true freshman is simply incredible.
  • The offensive line, believed to be the weak spot of the team this season, has come along. No, this isn't a great offensive line, but they gave the running backs enough holes and gave Ryan Hart enough time to get the job done.

Things to be concerned about:

  • Ryan Hart had his second straight weak outing. Hart threw two interceptions and often tried to force the ball through heavy coverages. Even when he had time he often missed open receivers or forced receivers to turn around to get the passes. It is difficult to understand what has gone wrong with Hart who is clearly a better QB than this.
  • The defensive line, against a team that rarely mixed it up with the pass, gave up over 250 yards on the ground.
  • Rutgers continued to shoot itself in the foot at crucial times in the game. On one crucial fourth down the Knights gave WVa a first down by virtue of RU having 12 men on the field.


Recap from Big East Site

Box Score

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