Sanu Leads Rutgers

The premier playmaker in the Big East Conference visits Rentschler Field on Saturday. Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu has broken the Rutgers and Big East records for receptions in a season. Sanu has 100 receptions for 1,011 yards in 2011.

Against Army, Sanu had 13 receptions to move past Kenny Britt for the Rutgers record (87 in 2008) and Pitt's Larry Fitzgerald for the Big East mark (92 in 2003). Sanu ranks third nationally with 100 receptions. He has gone over the 100-yard mark in six games this season.,

GAME CAPSULE

RUTGERS (8-3, 4-2) vs. UCONN (4-6, 2-3)

Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011, Noon

ESPN2 (Beth Mowins, Mike Bellotti); WTIC 1080/UConn Radio Network (Joe D'Ambrosio, Kevin Nathan)

Rentschler Field (40,000), East Hartford, Conn.

THREE KEYS FOR UCONN:

CONTAIN SANU

Sanu does what the Huskies receivers couldn't do against Louisville last week: Catch the ball. "He can make the awkward, out of position catches," UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said. "He catches the ball when it's behind him, when it's low in front of him. He is the quarterback's best friend. He has terrific hands and terrific kinesthetic sense. He makes big catches with one hand. He's a big guy and he's a physical receiver. I would also put him in the category of being a really good route runner. He is crafty in how he does it and explosive." Sanu can't be stopped but the Huskies will need to play their best coverage of the season.

ESTABLISH RUNNING GAME

Huskies tailback Lyle McCombs went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. That's a huge accomplishment for the freshman, but he was held to just 33 yards against Louisville. UConn relied heavily on the passing game in the second half and lost to the Cardinals. UConn must find a way to run its offense the way it did against Syracuse. After establishing the run, UConn had more options against the Orange. McCombs and quarterback Scott McCummings are talented weapons. Rutgers is last in the Big East in rushing defense, giving up 140 yards per game.

EMOTIONS

Wow. Emotions will be overflowing for this one, even though UConn has been mathematically eliminated from the Big East championship race. Rutgers is playing for a share of the Big East regular season title. It's only the second time the Scarlet Knights have been in that position. In 2006, Rutgers ended the regular season with a41-39 triple overtime loss at West Virginia and settled for second place. Beyond that, it is Senior Day for 13 UConn seniors. They will be honored before the game at The Rent. And UConn still has the motivation of becoming bowl eligible. The Huskies need to beat Rutgers and then win at Cincinnati next Saturday for that eligibility to kick in.

THREE QUICK FACTS:

1. Rutgers has 51 non-offensive touchdowns (defensive/special teams) since Greg Schiano became head coach in 2001. Six of those have come this season, including a 98-yard kickoff return by Jeremy Deering against USF on Nov. 5.

2. Rutgers leads the Big East in scoring defense (16.8), pass defense (173.5 yards per game), total defense (313.5 yards per game), and kickoff returns (25.1 yard average).

3. The Scarlet Knights were picked eighth in the preseason Big East poll. Rutgers has won at least eight games for the fifth time in six seasons.


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