First, the loss dropped Rutgers to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the Big East, which effectively ended the Scarlet Knights hope for a conference title.
Second, the Scarlet Knights committed a number of mistakes in the game,
from missed tackles, to untimely penalties, and dropped passes. Rutgers
Head Coach Greg Schiano mentioned during his Monday press conference that
the game was a lot closer than one might think for a 31-3 game. He noted
that if the Scarlet Knights did not make those mistakes, including
dropping three touchdown passes, the outcome may have been entirely
"But there's a fine line, there's a few plays out there on that field, and
the game would be drastically different," Coach Schiano said on Monday.
"But they didn't happen. And there's a bunch of plays that we had to play,
that we would not have seen if we had made the plays we had to on third
"That is how football games go from being a tight game to being a 31-3
game that's out of reach. It's very simple how it happens, but not very
simple to fix."
One player that has shouldered responsibility for the loss to West Virginia was RU wide receiver Tiquan Underwood. Underwood has been a
big-play machine all year, highlighted by his run-after-catch against
then-No.2 South Florida just 1 week earlier, but versus the Mountaineers,
something went awry. The receivers as a whole accounted for seven drops
during the game.
"Watching the film, I think it made us grow up," Rutgers wide receiver
Tiquan Underwood said. "We saw opportunities that we had, me especially,
and we just need to learn from it, grow up and just work on our game so
that it does not happen again."
Underwood and the coaching staff spoke in meeting about ensuring that a
negative carry over effect does not take place. Given his importance to
the WR corps Underwood has become a critical cog in the RU receiving game,
leading the team in a number of statistical categories including
receptions (46), yards (848), and receiving yards (6).
"You can't let one thing affect another," Underwood said. "One game can't
affect another or if you drop a pass, that can't affect the next pass.
[Receivers] Coach [Robert] Jackson told us that all year. Now it has
happened, so I really have to learn from it."
It's really a lesson in life and Underwood and the rest of the wide
receivers were the last off the practice field on Tuesday putting in extra
work to correct the mistakes from the prior outing.
Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel said that the receivers were "excited" to
get back on the practice field and worked hard in running their patterns
"I think just practicing on Sunday and getting back out here today
helped," Underwood said. "Getting back out here with the guys and
practicing again helped us. We are past that, we learned from it, put it
behind us, and we are ready to go."
Underwood understands that it is important to control his excitement when
he gets back on the field on Saturday. No. 13 Connecticut will host
Rutgers this Saturday and the Huskies feature a strong defense. It will be
important for the players to play within themselves and not allow UConn to
take advantage of mistakes.
"Coach Jackson, our receivers coach, when your warming up before the game
and adrenaline is flowing, he tells us before every game, be excited, but
stay in the moment," Underwood said. "You can't overdo it."
The upcoming contest against UConn comes at a critical point of the
season. While the prospects of a conference title may look dim, a major
bowl game is still within reach for the Big East's second-place team, and
tie-break advantages against the likes of the Huskies will go along way
toward achieving an upper-echelon spot in the Big East's standings.
"Every game is important," Underwood said. "And as the season goes on,
each one just gets bigger and bigger. We are just focused on the game
before us. It is a great opportunity, we are playing a great team, and we
are just looking forward to it."
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