All the high hopes, the promise and surge of confidence Rutgers built during competitive losses to Pittsburgh and Tennessee evaporated on one series yesterday against West Virginia.
An offense that had managed just one first down in the game's first 25 minutes generated its second -- and first in over 19 minutes -- when quarterback Ted Trump hit wideout Aaron Martin for a 5-yard gain to the West Virginia 29-yard line.
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Avon Cobourne ran for 133 yards and a touchdown and West Virginia's defense scored twice and forced five turnovers in a 40-0 victory Saturday.
Rasheed Marshall threw a touchdown pass and ran for another and safety Angel Estrada scored on a 43-yard interception return as the Mountaineers (4-2, 1-0 Big East) handed Rutgers (1-5, 0-2) its 17th straight conference loss.
Rutgers Falls to West Virginia 40-0
All week, a quarterback controversy brewed.
Saturday, Rutgers showed it matters little who's behind center. Supposedly well-rested off a bye week and supposedly inspired by a respectable performance at Tennessee before that, Rutgers was neither Saturday afternoon, falling 40-0 to West Virginia.
Senior quarterback Ted Trump's return to the starting lineup reiterated what was suspected three weeks ago in Pittsburgh - this team just isn't into scoring.
Rutgers gets whacked by W. Va
Forget Rutgers' quarterback controversy -- or the one at tailback. To have a controversy at either position, a team needs an offense first.
And it's pretty clear the Knights still don't.
A year after setting a Big East record for offensive ineptitude, Rutgers gave every indication yesterday that it will take a run at that mark -- in characteristic tippy-toe steps, of course -- with another dismal performance in yet another conference loss.
Offense is no-show against W. Va.
The obvious concern after another solid showing by Rutgers' defense was undone by another poor performance by the offense, resulting in yet another lopsided Big East loss, is this: Will the obvious disparity between the units begin to cause some friction? Two of the Knights' defensive leaders say they're not concerned about that occurring.
"I don't worry about separation on the team," defensive tackle Will Burnett said. "We understand we have some young guys over there (on offense). We understand certain things are the way they are. There's no sense in pointing fingers. There are a lot of things we can improve on defensively. We don't have time to point fingers."
Orr, Burnett not about to play the blame game
This is the way it was for the Rutgers defense over the first 30 minutes yesterday.
They were a thin red line of 11 against the whirlwind ... a defense doomed to play on and on like the crew of the Flying Dutchman, knowing in their collective hearts that there would be no safe harbor and no anything else provided by the offense ... knowing that the goose egg on the Rutgers side of the electronic scoreboard was not about to change unless the defense found a way to steal its points ... knowing that just as one hand applauding makes no sound, a football team without an offense is a toothless tiger trying to fight its way to the water hole.
RU defense finds itself in a no-win situation
Too light to be called rain, too heavy to be labeled mist, the wind-driven sheets of drizzle added to the misery at Rutgers Stadium yesterday, raising and then leaving unanswered the question of how many days of nagging but ineffective precipitation would it take to erase long months of drought.
Same for the Scarlet Knights football team. How many tiny steps, how many painful outings will it take to overcome years of drought? How many more embarrassing beatings like the 40-0 lump inflicted yesterday by West Virginia before the reservoir of victory finally will be filled?
No rain can wet RU's win drought
Playing Rutgers not only brought another big game from West Virginia halfback Avon Cobourne, it produced the first shutout by the Mountaineers defense since 1997.
Cobourne ran for 133 yards and a touchdown and West Virginia's defense scored twice, forced five turnovers and limited Rutgers to 90 yards in total offense in a 40-0 victory yesterday.
It marked the fourth straight year that Cobourne has rushed for 100 yards against Rutgers, making him the first back in the conference to do that against the same school.
WVU, Cobourne rout Knights
Wherever he played or coached, Jim Horner has left such an impression that he became a part of that football program's image. Forever.
It happened at Haddon Heights, where Horner turned the Garnets into a powerhouse. It happened at Cherokee, where Horner took a new program and molded it into the best in South Jersey. And it happened at Haddonfield, which Horner resurrected before retiring after last season.
Oh, almost forgot: Horner also left an indelible impression at Rutgers, where he was an outstanding two-way lineman and three-year starter before graduating from the school in 1961.
Horner left coaching, couldn't leave football
Using both Orlando Kane and the equally imposing threat of using him, the Lawrence High football team kept Allentown's defense off-balance and itself on the scoreboard throughout the game in its 44-7 win yesterday.
"Everyone's going to play to stop No. 9 (Kane)," said Lawrence coach Rob Radice. "It opens up other options. We feel John (Nalbone) is a special tight end and (quarterback Charlie Park) has been throwing the ball well."
Kane, Lawrence run over Allentown: Backs' 116 yards power Cardinals
Dennis Davis was somewhat concerned when he took the field for warm-ups Saturday afternoon because he never had to throw the ball in such wet, muddy conditions. But Rutherford's Division I quarterback prospect didn't waste much time answering his own questions.
"My quarterback took a big step up today," Rutherford coach John DePalma said after Davis threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to a 35-0 romp past Tenafly. "He has gotten a lot of press this year, but when he struggled one game, people wanted to write him off. But he played as tough a game as I've ever seen a quarterback play.
Davis comes up big to lead Rutherford
Two words sum up the Moorestown High School football team's 21-7 win over Northern Burlington Friday.
Playing on a soggy field during a steady rainfall, Moorestown's heralded running back turned in one of the best individual performances in recent memory to lead the Quakers to a Burlington/Olympic Football League Patriot Division victory.
Young helps Moorestown run by Northern
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Around the Big East
Years before the validation of national championships finally came to Florida State and Bobby Bowden, the coach of the Seminoles once sat on a sad Sunday morning and described his tombstone. His team had lost to Miami by a point in 1991 after a 34-yard field goal attempt in the final moments had missed the right upright by inches. The next morning, when Bowden considered the game that had gotten away and the championship possibilities that went with it, he presented a message to chisel in stone.
No. 1 Miami remains unbeaten on another missed FSU field goal
Philadelphia -How low can they go?
The Syracuse University football team keeps lowering the bar on a season that seems to have no bottom. Temple sprung the trap door on Saturday, sending the Orangemen to their fifth loss in six games with a 17-16 victory before 17,220 at Veterans Stadium.
University officials may have suspended their search for a new president, but plans are moving forward to provide that individual with a new official residence.
The board of governors yesterday unanimously authorized negotiations for the purchase of the historic Miller family estate at the corner of River Road and Hoes Lane in Piscataway to serve as the president's residence.
A move is necessary because the state Department of Transportation's Route 18 realignment project will render the existing president's residence at 1245 River Road "unsuitable" for a residential use, officials said.
New home for RU leader
Dog" Forbes: BigDog@Rutgersfootball.com
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