RUTGERS REWIND – W/E October 15, 2005
On Sunday, Matei shared his views after Rutgers Fell to West Virignia, 27-14. Matei noted that two early, costly turnovers put Rutgers in a 14-0 hole from which it could not recover. Matei praised the performances of So FS Ron Girault, Fr WS Courtney Greene, and RS Sr DE Ryan Neill. Matei stuck around Rutgers Stadium and shared the thoughts of Scarlet Knigths and Mountaineers in post-game interviews. RS Jr FB Brian Leonard stated "[The Mountaineers] were tough. This is honestly the worst I have ever felt after a game. I need to get to the trainer's room. Matei also interviewed OL Mike Weich (6-4 and 290) from Livingston Senior HS in Livingston, NJ. Weich attended camp at Rutgers this past summer but, at this point, has only received a scholarship offer from Army.
On Monday, Tom Atkins reported about Head Coach Greg Schiano's Sunday press conference, in which Schiano stated, "There's no solace in coming close." The primary topic was the brewing controversy at QB, which saw three different players taking snaps against West Virginia in the 4th Quarter alone. Tom also attended the Monday press conference, where player shuffling again was the topic – this time Orange QBs RS Jr Perry Patterson and So Joe Fields as well as the Scarlet Knight LB corps, which lost one player (Sr WLB Will Gilkison) to injury and saw another (Sr SLB William Beackford) perform poorly against West Virginia. Andre Bone interviewed WR Chris Hogan (6-2 and 180) from Ramapo HS in Franklin Lakes, NJ. Hogan has received scholarship offers from Rutgers, Temple, and West Virginia.
On Tuesday, former Scarlet Knight LB Todd Lane (1988 – 1992) shared a Former Player's Perspective on the loss to West Virginia. Todd was disappointed with the lethargic offense, the confusing QB rotation, and the undisciplined defense. Matei announced the commitment of LB Patrick Nemorin (6-2 and 210) from Deerfield Beach HS in Deerfield Beach, FL. Nemorin had not yet received scholarship offers from any other Division IA schools.
On Wednesday, Matei interviewed DL Walter Dublin (6-3 and 235) from Sarasota HS in Sarasota, FL. Dublin already has received nearly 30 offers including Central Florida, Clemson, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Rutgers, South Florida, and West Virginia. Walter does not currently list Rutgers in his top five. Andrew Bone interviewed WR Donald Bowens (6-3 and 195) from St.Petersburg HS in St Petersburg, FL. Bowens has received scholarship offers from Indiana, Iowa State, Mississippi, and Rutgers.
On Thursday, Matei shared a statistical comparison of Rutgers and Syracuse. Leonard and Orange TB Sr Damien Rhodes are tied for second in the Big East with 127 all-purpose yards per game. Individual Rutgers players generally are ranked higher in the Big East than their Orange counterparts but Syracuse has played a vastly more difficult schedule.
On Friday, FoxSports also shared its weekly Rutgers Team Report. FoxSports addressed the QB change from three-year starter Ryan Hart to rookie Mike Teel. FoxSports also observed that Rutgers had trouble stopping West Virginia's running attack, which is a concern against a Syracuse offense that features mobile QBs and a top-notch TB in Rhodes. Dan Welch re-published his preseason preview of the Syracuse Orange to re-acquaint Rutgers fans with the struggling Orange, who are three games behind pace with respect to Dan's predicted 7-4 (5-2 Big East) record. Dan also shared his Keys to the Syracuse Game. Syracuse is reeling with a 1-4 start, including a stunning loss at upstart Connecticut last Friday on national TV (ESPN2). Rutgers traveled to Syracuse in a must-win situation. Dan commented that Rutgers should have beaten Syracuse last year. Dan's keys included (1) control the tempo, (2) aerial assault, (3) man-to-man coverage, (4) nine-man front, and (5) defending misdirection. Key individuals included Teel, Jr CB Derrick Roberson, RS Fr SLB Chenry Lewis, RS Jr FB Brian Leonard, and RS Jr WR Shawn Tucker.
Rutgers made its second consecutive appearance as the Big East Game of the Week on Saturday with a 31-9 victory at Syracuse on on regional television and the ESPN Game Plan package. Rutgers played its most complete game of the season but still played well below its potential in beating an impotent Orange team that committed nine fumbles, gained only 238 total yards, and did not convert on third down until the 4th Quarter. New starting QB Mike Teel lead Rutgers into the red zone on Rutgers' first two possessions but could not get the Knights into the end zone; Jeremy Ito made one of the FGA. Fr S Glen Lee blocked a punt that Sr CB Corey Barnes returned for a TD to give Rutgers a 10-0 lead early in the 2nd Quarter. Teel hit RS Sr WR Tres Moses on a deep crossing route that Moses took to the house for a 37-yard TD and a 17-0 halftime lead. Teel found Jr TE Sam Johnson on a corner route for a 24 –yard TD early in the 3rd Quarter. A minute later, Barnes scooped a fumble by Patterson and returned it 26 yards for a TD that put the game away at 31-0. Rutgers allowed three FGs in the final 16 minutes to close out the scoring.
In other Big East action, West Virginia overcame a 17-point 4th Quarter deficit and defeated Louisville 46-44 in 3OT, Pittsburgh beat South Florida 31-17, capitalizing upon three Bull turnovers to escape a 10-0 1st Quarter deficit, and Cincinnati upset Connecticut 28-17 as the Huskies self-destructed with four turnovers. The Mountaineers win over Louisville firmly puts the West Virginia in command of the Big East race.
Over on the basketball court, Matei interviewed Rutgers 2006 verbal commitment PG Corey Chandler (6-1 and 170) from East Side HS in Newark, NJ. While Rutgers has yet to sign its 2005 recruiting class (the early signing period occurs in November), rising junior Chandler stunned the Rutgers community with a summer commitment. New Assistant Head Coach Fred Hill, Jr. has recruited Chandler.
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