Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
The West Virginia Mountaineers head to New Jersey for a crucial Big East contest with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The Mountaineers fell to Syracuse for the second straight year 49-23 in week eight while the Scarlet Knight were handed a 16-14 defeat by Louisville. The Mountaineers are -7 point favorites over the Scarlet Knights with an over/under point total set at 53.
West Virginia has made a habit out of starting slow before getting their act together after falling behind however that turned around and bit them against Syracuse as the Mountaineers fell behind early with the Orange never letting WVU recover. The Mountaineers had decent yardage with 409 yards but threw a pair of interceptions with one coming at the end of the first half inside the Syracuse ten yard line. Dustin Garrison has a decent rushing performance with 59 yards on eleven carries followed closely by Shawn Austin (9-46) who scored as well but there wasn’t much need for a rushing attack when plenty of points were needed in a hurry. Quarterback Geno Smith quickly became the center of attention and he threw for the yards and two scores but had a few misfires and cost his team points with a of picks. Stedman Bailey was the big gun amongst the receiving corps with 130 yards on seven receptions but he and the entire offense needed more with the Orange totaling 443 yards with an inability to control Ryan Nassib (24-32/229) who threw for four touchdowns. Throw in a kick return TD that gave the ‘Cuse a 21-9 lead and WVU had across the board breakdowns.
Mistake prone Rutgers went to Louisville and missed put repeatedly on scoring opportunities and still lost by just two. The Scarlet knights moved the ball at times with nearly 300 yards but their young quarterback made too many mistake and their kicker missed a pair of shot field goals. Rutgers never got the rushing attack going with less than 100 yards and three yard average. Quarterback Gary Nova was erratic with his throws going high as he had problems delivering the ball at tines, completing 18 of 33 for 207 yards and a touchdown but also three critical interceptions overall. Mohammed Sanu established himself as the go to guy in the passing game with highs of ten receptions for 128 yards. The defense played extremely well once again allowing 312 total yards although Louisville had occasional success on the ground.. However it’s nearly impossible to win with eight penalties while battling to overcome three giveaways and two missed field goals and a dropped touchdown pass.
West Virginia has so much talent that it’s hard to belief their performance against Syracuse last Saturday. I think the Mountaineers have the potential to win big here if Nova continues to throw picks and touchdown passes are dropped and if San Te can’t kick a ball for the third straight week. Not willing to lay a score right now. I’m taking Rutgers plus the 7.
Rutgers Scarlet Knight s +7 West Virginia Mountaineers