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Announcements

The first Rutgers Touchdown Club meeting will be Thursday night
September 5th at 7pm at the Hale Center. Doors open at 6pm. The Event is open to all Touchdown Club members. If you are not a member you can join that night. Looking forward to a great first meeting and a successful 2002 season.

What better way to find out what is going on with Rutgers football than to chat with the guy who has been covering camp since day one. Tom Luicci will chatting with fans on the bulletin board this Wednesday at 9:00 P.M.
Remember that to ask questions you must be registered. Registration is free but be sure to register ahead of time. Just click on "Register your free account" and answer all the questions.

Football

The first slap in the face for the Rutgers football team was the Jeff Sagarin NCAA Football rating, one of seven computer polls that get factored into the Bowl Championship Series formula designed to produce a national championship game and the best possible bowl matchups.
Rutgers is ranked 135th in while Villanova, which plays a full division below the Scarlet Knights at Division I-AA, is ranked above them at 104.
The teams meet in their season opener this Saturday (7 p.m.) at Rutgers Stadium.
Rutgers picked to lose to I-AA Villanova by CBS

Coach Greg Schiano released his two-deep roster for the first time yesterday with one refreshing change from last season: A relative lack of freshmen.
As Rutgers prepares for its first game this Saturday against Villanova, five freshman are listed on the depth chart but only two, running back Markis Facyson and wide receiver Shawn Tucker, expect to see significant playing time. That is a significant drop from last year, when the inexperienced Scarlet Knights played 14 true freshmen and paid a steep price for their learning curve: A 2-9 season, 0-7 in the Big East and a handful of blowout losses along the way.
A LITTLE OLDER AND WISER: Fewer freshmen in Knights' lineup

After what seemed like weeks of hamstring horrors, Tuesday finally brought some health highs. None of which was more exciting than the leaping high-five quarterback Ryan Cubit exchanged with senior tight end L.J. Smith.
Smith, Rutgers' only All-Big East player, has been limited for weeks after tweaking his left hamstring the first day of camp. But Tuesday, with the season opener against Villanova just four days away, Smith pronounced himself back, snaring a quick slant from Cubit for a 12-yard gain.
Rutgers' Smith makes it back in time

Gary Gibson really isn't comfortable talking about himself or his football accomplishments, but he will admit one thing when pressed: He wasn't just a good football player at Lafayette Senior High School in Jamesville, N.Y.; he was a dominant one.
Of course, Rutgers' third-year sophomore defensive tackle will quickly point out how that's not saying much since his high school team had 18 players on its roster while competing in the smallest classification in New York State.
Gibson starting to come up big

Andy Talley starts his 18th season as Villanova's head coach on Saturday trying to accomplish something the Wildcats have failed to do since opting to go 1-AA in 1985: bBeat a Division 1-A opponent. In seven previous tries against 1-A teams (including Rutgers twice) Villanova has yet to win, although the average margin of defeat is just 11.2 points. Rutgers -- Villanova's opponent on Saturday -- represents his program's only shot at a 1-A team this year. Talley talked about the challenge yesterday:
Numbers don't favor Villanova

Bob Mulcahy, Class of '58, being the loyal son of Villanova he is, the winner of many of the Main Line school's most-cherished alumni awards including its Medal of Excellence, threw his alma mater a bone.
The Rutgers athletic director scheduled a home football game for the Scarlet Knights with Villanova. Saturday's sizable payday is appreciated, veteran 'Nova coach Andy Talley said.
It's a game Talley's team could win.
Villanova missed boat for big-time football

Rutgers is expected to give true freshman Shawn Tucker quality minutes at wide receiver ...
The real games begin

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Around the Nation

The Fiesta Bowl will be host for the national title game on Friday, Jan. 3, as the Bowl Championship Series begins its second rotation of the four major bowls. The Sugar (Jan. 3, 2004), Orange (Jan. 4, 2005) and Rose (Jan. 4, 2006) will play host to the remaining BCS championships.
• Don't hold your breath hoping for a playoff after the 2005 season. Too many logistics to untangle, say the brain surgeons running I-A football.
50 Things to Count On

Donald "Big Dog" Forbes: BigDog@Rutgersfootball.com


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