Townsend Out For Season

The biggest news from Tuesday's practice is that fifth year senior wide receiver James Townsend is out for the season with a knee injury, which effectively ends his Rutgers football career.

James Townsend saw his most significant action as a kick returner this season, averaging 24.1 yards per attempt on seven returns. He also made one catch for 36 yards.

"He has been doing a lot of things on special teams for us," RU quarterback Mike Teel said. "He was hurt and worked his way back into the receiving group. It's a part of the game but it hurts, especially on special teams. He was doing some really good things, but we need some guys to step up and make some plays."

The Scarlet Knight players studied the game tape from Saturday during their off day on Monday. They saw the mistakes that led to a 31-3 West Virginia win over Rutgers.

"Watching the film, I think it made us grow up," Rutgers wide receiver Tiquan Underwood said. "We saw opportunities that we had, me specially and we just need to learn from it, grow up and just work on your game so that it does not happen again."

Underwood had one of the toughest games of any of the Scarlet Knights against West Virginia. Underwood dropped four passes in the game and took the blame upon himself.

"He (Underwood) and I have a very good relationship," Teel said. "I have said some things that are between him and I. It is just a matter of that, he has done it before. He almost single handedly won the South Florida game. It is not a matter of him not being able to do it, he just has confidence and he needs to go out there and do it."

No. 13 UConn will host Rutgers this weekend, as the Scarlet Knights must now shift their focus away from the mistakes they made last weekend and back on the much improved Huskies.

Connecticut leads the Big East in scoring defense and ranks third in the nation in only allowing 13 points a game. The Huskies also rank second overall in turnover margin. UConn ranks sixth in the Big East in scoring offense and will use its defense to try and make up for the lack of scoring comparative to the rest of the conference.

"They play eight guys up front and roll them [in and out] constantly," RU Head Coach Greg Schiano said. "Their linebackers are playing very well and their secondary leads the nation in interceptions. They are playing good football."

Rutgers will finish the season playing three out of the next four games on the road. The contest versus UConn will be only the second game outside of Rutgers Stadium they have played all season and the first game the Scarlet Knights will play on a natural grass surface.

Last week, the Huskies beat South Florida 22-15 at home while playing in a sloppy rain- soaked field. The Scarlet Knights did not seem too concerned by the change in surface and most seemed to be excited about it. Rutgers is 5-1 on grass since 2005 and RU running back Ray Rice posted 200-yard games in four of those six contests.

"I kind of like the grass if it is not wet," Underwood said. "I played on grass in high school and it was pretty nice. When you play in college, you really don't think about it too much. You just go out and play."

- Coach Schiano said that safety Ron Girault could have played against West Virginia, but Schiano wanted to be extra cautious. Schiano did make it seem as though Girault would be available to play against Connecticut.

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