Sat 12/410 12:00 PM
Pitt W 35-10
Louisville L 40-13
Series: WVU 31-4-2
First Meeting: 1921
Last Meeting: 2010
All 37 games of the West Virginia – Rutgers series have been played on the campuses of the two schools, save one. Can you name the location, the year and/or the result of that game? You should know the routine by now: Answer at the end of this space.
Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano swears that he's not using this game as a trial run for players for next year. He has insisted that he and his team will be playing to win this game, and that he's not going to sit seniors in order to get a look at someone else with an eye toward the 2011 season.
That said, Schiano also would not rule out lineup changes for the WVU game. After practice on Thursday, he said he was mulling over some possible changes, outside those caused by injuries.
While fans of teams in situations like that of the Scarlet Knights often want to look to the future, a coach can't just toss away those players that have worked hard, and still give the team its best chance to win on a given week. There will be plenty of time for evaluation during spring practice, so don't expect Schiano to mail this game in. He is a fiery competitor that hates to lose, so he'll play those who have the best chance of springing an upset.
It's no surprise to see West Virginia among the nation's leaders in "three-and-outs" – the forcing of a punt or change of possession after three offensive plays or fewer. The Mountaineers have turned that trick 53 times this year, good for sixth in the nation in that category.
As might be expected, most of the national leaders in this metric are having very good seasons as well. TCU, Ohio State, Nebraska and Boise State all fall into that category. The lone exception? Texas. Despite 60 three-and-outs, the Longhorns didn't qualify for a bowl this year.
For the third consecutive week, West Virginia will be on the field for Senior Day festivities, but this time it will be the good guys in the spotlight. Twenty Mountaineers will take their final run through the tunnel, and with them they will be carrying an impressive list of achievements. They have been part of 37 wins, a Big East title and two bowl wins, and still have a chance to add to that list.
Hats off to Scooter Berry, Eddie Davis, Noel Devine, Larry Ford, Sidney Glover, Glen Gress, Trippe Hale, Brandon Hogan, Eric Jobe, Will Johnson, Jeremy Kash, Derek Knight, Pat Lazear, Anthony Leonard, Chris Neild, Gregg Pugnetti, Jock Sanders, J.T. Thomas, Matt Timmerman and Bobby Weston. Your contributions to the program have been outstanding.
All three or Rutgers' non-offensive touchdowns have come against opposing punt teams this year. The Scarlet Knights, who have not managed to return a fumble or an interception for a score this year, have a 60-yard punt return for a score and have fallen on a pair of blocked punts for two more TDs.
West Virginia is still looking for its first touchdown on defense or special teams. Both units have set the offense up with big plays this year, but neither has found the end zone. The only non-offensive score for WVU this year came when Cincinnati quarterback Zach Collaros was flagged for intentional grounding on a pass attempt from his own end zone. Although Bruce Irvin was credited with a sack on the play, he didn't get credit for the safety.
WHICH ONE DOES NOT BELONG?
Of the following three names, one doesn't belong. Can you identify the odd man out?
San San Te. D.J. Yoshi. Jeremy Ito.
The first and third members of the group are the current and immediate past Rutgers placekickers. Ito held the job from 2004-07, and is the school's all-time leader in field goals with 80. Te, a junior, has held the job since Ito's departure, and has 44 successful boots on his career.
The odd man out is Yoshi, who used to provide pre-game entertainment for the Rutgers student section at home games. Yoshi had his own on-field box to spin tunes for the crowd.
In 1923, WVU defeated Rutgers 27-7 at the Polo Grounds in New York City.