Fearless Picks - Rutgers Edition

A missing staff member means that a shuffle on the leaderboard of the season-long picks contest is in the offing.

Matt Keller Last Week: W Season 6-1 Pick: WVU 30-20
Rutgers has been the one foe WVU has easily overmatched and underplayed away from home. The Mountaineers have managed to lose to the Knights twice and be forced into overtime once in its last six trips to New Jersey.

This is, simply, a game that's closer than it should be in Piscataway, or East Rutherford, or wherever Rutgers is actually located. Head coach Greg Schiano's defense is primed to stop the run. Will it give up passing yards? Yes. Will WVU throw "enough," whatever that amount is? Don't know.

The Mountaineers opened up the playbook a bit against Connecticut, then trimmed it some because Syracuse just could not stop the run while having enormous corners. Look for more passing and for WVU to use its speed on Rutgers' Field Turf. Chris Henry has a solid day and Ryan Hart has a sore arm. Get comfy, ‘cause this game will last close to 225 minutes.

Bill Gleason Last Week: W Season 6-1 Pick: ???
Bill, on vacation, failed to file a pick. We are considering appropriate punishments for this dereliction of duty. Suggestions are welcome.
Andy Easton Last Week: W Season 6-1 Pick: WVU 38-20
West Virginia is 9-3 when playing at Rutgers since 1980 and has won the last four games at Piscataway. In addition, WVU is 18-6 as a road favorite and Rutgers is 9-37 as a home underdog. If WVU can win the turnover battle not only will the Mountaineers snag their seventh victory, but it could get ugly.
Chris Richardson Last Week: W Season 6-1 Pick: WVU 48-13
Rarely does it seem the Mountaineers play their "A" game at Rutgers. As we've seen this year though, they don't have to play their "A" game to win football games convincingly. Let's get this out of the way right now: Rutgers is a bad football team. Yea, I know, they beat Michigan State, but even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then, and the victory over the Spartans was the biggest acorn the Scarlet Knights have found in forever.

Anybody get a chance to watch the RU-Pitt game this past Saturday? Here's what I saw: Offensively, the Scarlet Knights have a couple of guys that can hurt you, namely wide receiver Tres Moses and running back Brian Leonard. Defensively, however, they cannot stop anything. Repeat...ANYTHING! If Pitt running back Raymond Kirkley looked like Barry Sanders on Saturday, then how good is the stable of backs for West Virginia going to look?

Greg Hunter Last Week: W Season 5-2 Pick: WVU 42-14
Rutgers has already stunned one team this year (Michigan State), and it's capable of doing it again, but only if West Virginia provides its share of help. WVU is the better club, and as long as it doesn't self-destruct, it should win fairly easily.
Cam Huffman Last Week: W Season 5-2 Pick: WVU 36-17
Yes, the Scarlet Knights are a better team than what WVU has seen in the past. It is true that last year's meeting in Morgantown could have come down to the wire if not for a couple of bonehead plays from the men in red. No, West Virginia has not played all that well in any game this season, and yes, winning on the road is tougher than winning at home.

But one factor cannot be ruled out in this one. Rutgers is still Rutgers. Only the Scarlet Knights would find a way to leave Chris Henry uncovered on the final play of the half last year in Morgantown. Only Rutgers could find a way to lose to New Hampshire just one week after one of the school's biggest wins in recent history over Michigan State, and who else could give up over 400 yards of offense to a Walt Harris coached team?

Despite the fact that this team is playing with a sense of desperation, needing two wins in its last four games to become bowl eligible for the first time since dinosaurs roamed the sidelines at college football games instead of overgrown turkeys and oranges, things have not changed in New Jersey as much as some people would like to believe.

Rutgers cannot run the ball, and Pacman Jones will have at least one of three Mountaineer interceptions as Rutgers looks to burn West Virginia through the air. On the other side of the ball, if Tyler Palko and Joe DelSardo can put up Playstation 2 numbers against the RU defense, just thing of what Rasheed and Henry will be able to do. Rutgers may hang around early, but the Mountaineers will pull away. West Virginia is not Michigan State, and it will leave Rutgers Stadium with a win.

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