WVU coach: RU "Gunnin' for the Mountaineers"

West Virginia coach Bill Stewart knows the series history, which means he is well-versed in the Mountaineers dominance of Rutgers. The last time the Scarlet Knights won in the series was 1994, and in the regular season finale Saturday at Rutgers Stadium, that could change. Stewart knwos Rutgers will be emotionally ready to play in a game that is approaching a sellout.

West Virginia owns 14 straights victories against Rutgers, and even though the current Big East standings don't suggest it, the Mountaineers remain the league's benchmark program.

So, Mountaineers coach Bill Stewart knows exactly what the Scarlet Knights want heading into Saturday's regular season finale at Rutgers Stadium, especially since Rutgers coach Greg Schiano is yet to beat the Mountaineers.

"Believe me, Rutgers is better, they're on a roll and they're gunnin' for the Mountaineers,'' Stewart said during a Sunday conference call. "There's absolutely no doubt in my mind, this is going to be an absolute gut check.''

Stewart voiced his concern about the way Rutgers played recently, citing the Scarlet Knights' 31-0 domination of South Florida and the 34-14 whipping of Louisville.

There was also the selective-memory gloss-over of Rutgers' 31-13 loss at Syracuse.

"We've got a tough chore. Rutgers is back,'' Stewart said. "My God, they were hitting on all cylinders (against the Cardinals). We could barely even get through Louisville here at home, 17-9 I believe it was, and they just absolutely dismantled them.

"Greg's got them hitting on all cylinders again. …They just dismantled two teams, one (South Florida) we got shellacked by, the other (Louisville), we barely beat at home.''

Among Stewart's chief concern is the way the Scarlet Knights bottled up Bulls red-shirt freshman quarterback B.J. Daniels. Rutgers often used a pair of players to bookend Daniels to contain Daniels.

West Virginia has a similar offensive approach to what South Florida runs, but with much more experience. Mountaineers senior quarter Jarrett Brown played plenty behind Pat White the last few years.

This season Brown is completing 64.7 percent of his passes and has thrown for 2,013 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He passed for 244 yards and ran for 73 as a freshman when West Virginia beat Rutgers 41-39 in triple overtime in 2006.

"When I watched that South Florida and I saw them do to B.J. Daniels what no one else has been able to do, I said, ‘Wow, these young men know how to play.' ‘' Stewart said. "And when they crank it up, they're really good.''

Stewart is also impressed with Rutgers freshman quarterback Tom Savage and 6-foot-2, 215-pound freshman receiver Mohamed Sanu, who is much higher on an opponents' conscious level after running for 148 yards and two touchdowns at Louisville using the Wildcat formation.

"Their quarterback is keeping him in each and every game from what I've seen as of late,'' said Stewart, who turned his attention to Sanu. "Oh my God, he's a big, big boy. The Wildcat is a very simple formation that puts the ball in an athlete's hands.

"That's what it's meant for, and everyone zone blocks, so everybody runs one way, right or left, and you either out-sweep them, or cut it up (the field) or dipsy-doodle razzle-dazzle stuff like we saw Notre Dame do last night.

"Big man. Fast, tough; he's like an H-back from what I see. He's not a tight end, not a flanker.''

Scarlet Report Top Stories