The West Virginia Mountaineers are coming off their worst defensive performance in 20 years after getting up ended by Syracuse. 'Cuse ran the ball all over WVU's 3-3-5 defensive front. Quarterback Geno Smith will look to rebound as he takes on a Rutgers defense that's know for making big plays. Against the Orange last week, Smith threw some uncharacteristically bad interceptions that put the 'Eers in bad spots defensively. The 'Eers offensive line succomed to a young Syracuse pass rush that hit Smith often.
"It's quite simple," WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said. "Syracuse beat us physically on all three sides of the ball. They outplayed us and they outcoached us. It's as simple as that."
Meanwhile Rutgers is coming off a tough loss to Big East opponent Louisville, 16-14. Rutgers defense ranks 9th in the FBS in points allowed and 20th against the pass. The Scarlett Knights also rank first in the FBS in takeaways, including 15 interceptions. Led offensively by freshman quarterback Gary Nova, Rutgers will look to pull the upset.
"They have four wide receivers that are as good as we've played," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "Geno, the quarterback, is playing at a very, very high level. Offensive line is experienced. This will be a big test."
Game date, time: 3:30 pm ET, Saturday, October 29, 2011
Location: High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, NJ
TV channel: ABC/ESPN3
Spread: West Virginia favored by 5.5
Series history: West Virginia leads, 32-4-2
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit WVU blog The Smoking Musket and Rutgers blog On The Banks. Here’s this week’s college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.