Oct 11, Noon
Last Week: Miami
Returning Starters: 12
Last Week: Virginia Tech
Returning Starters: 14
Last Meeting: 2002
Common Opponents to Date: None
WVU - Tim Brown (Achilles) Out, Jahmile Addae (Shoulder) Out.
Rutgers - Ryan Neill (Knee) Out, Chris Loomis (Ankle) Doubtful, Nate Jones (Ankle) Questionable, Brian Bender (Hamstring) Questionable.
WVU 1-4, 0-1
RU 3-2, 0-1
Sat: 10/11 Noon
TV: ESPN Regional
Sagarin: WVU-63 RU-100
Stats & Trends
The Scarlet Knight defense has struggled this season and the Mountaineer offense will look to keep that trend alive. Rutgers has allowed an average of 30 point and 409 yards per game, but have still managed to come up with three victories.
The defensive line is lead by senior Raheem Orr, who leads the Big East in sacks. The West Virginia offensive line will need to contain Orr if the passing attack is to be successful. Orr has 38 tackles and 5.5 sacks on the season. Rounding out the offensive line is Gary Gibson, Luis Rivas and Peterson. The trio has combined for 50 tackles and 4.5 sacks this year.
The linebackers are lead by experienced Brian Bender and a talented tamdem of sophomores, Will Gilkison and William Beckford. The speedy lienbackers have combined for 73 tackles, six of them for a loss. If the Rutgers defensive line can occupy the WVU offensive front, Bender and company could rack up a few more tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
The Rutgers secondary has been busy during the first half of the season. With the Scarlet Knight defensive front not having much luck stopping the run, the red clad secondary have combined for a whopping 120 tackles and 4 interceptions. Cornerback Nate Jones is a solid cover man while Jarvis Johnson is a hard hitting safety that leads the team in stops.
By the numbers:
WVU ranks 92nd in total offense (324.8 yds/game), 27th in rushing offense (186.2 yds/game) and 110th in passing offense (138.6 yds/game).
Rutgers ranks 90th in total defense (409.2 yds/game), 103rd in rushing defense (196 yds/game) and 75th in passing efficiency defense (124.85 rating).
WVU defense vs. Knights offense
The Rutgers' offensive attack is lead by sophomore quarterback Ryan Hart. Hart has shown ability, taking over for last year's starter Ted Trump, but has also shown his inexpereince in reading defenses. Hart has completed 82 of 142 passes for 1063 yards and 7 touchdowns but has also thrown 8 interceptions.
Catching passes from Hart will be a talented group of receivers, led by Tres Moses with 229 yards on 22 receptions and 3 touchdowns. Joining Moses as a starter will be Shawn Tucker. Tucker has gained 291 yards on 17 receptions and is the Scarlet Knights' deep threat.
Toting the ball for Rutgers will be a pair of solid running backs. Freshman tailback Justise Hairston has been a pleasant surprise taking over the starting role from Clarence Pittman. Hairston has averaged 4.0 yards on 89 carries along with 6 touchdowns. Joining Hairston in the backfield will be Brian Leonard. Leonard has been the key to the Rutgers offense over the past few weeks and is an emerging star in the Big East. Leonard has averaged 5.5 yards while reaching paydirt twice.
By the numbers:
WVU ranks 85th in total defense (403 yds/game), 82nd in rushing defense (167.6 yds/game) and 47th in passing efficiency defense (114.89).
Rutgers ranks 71st in total offense (362.4 yds/game), 63rd in rushing offense (146.8 yds/game) and 56th in passing (215.6 yds/game).
WVU special teams vs. Knights special teams
While the WVU kicking game continues to make improvements, the Rutgers' kicking game has been less than spectacular. The Knights have used a trio of kickers, including senior Ryan Sands. Tht group has connected on just two of eight field goals, the longest being from 36 yards. The punting, handled by Joe Radiagn, has been decent, producing an average of 38.5 yards on 26 punts.
The return game has been solid with Nate Jones returning kicks and Tres Moses bringing back punts. Jones has averaged 22.8 yards per return with his long being 36 yards. Moses is a speedy junior that has averaged 16.1 yards per return. He has taken one punt to the house.
By the numbers:
WVU ranks 81st in net punting (34.78 yds/punt), 25th in kick returns (24.16 yds/return) and 109th in punt returns (5.40 yds/return).
Rutgers ranks 47th in net punting (36.96 yds/punt), 107th in kick returns (17.0 yds/return) and 12th in punt returns (14.82 yds/return)
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|RU Official Site|
On Offense: Quincy Wilson
On Defense: Lance Frazier
* WVU is 6-10 all-time in games played on October 11th.
* In 134 years of playing football the Scarlet Knights are 0-1 in post-season play.
* Rutgers' roster includes 62 players from the Garden State.
* Former WVU running backs coach Darrell Hazell is Rutgers' Assistant Head Coach.
Be sure to check out our Stats & Trends section for lots more matchup information!
For the last two years the Mountaineers have used the Scarlet Knights as whipping boys, winning by the combined score of 120-7. Don't look for the score to be as lopisided as the previous two games but WVU will still get the "W". The Mountaineers have a renewed sense of confidence which they will ride into the second half of the season.
WVU - 34 Rutgers - 17