WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERs at RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS
High Point Solutions Stadium (52,454/FieldTurf)
Saturday, October 29 • 3:30 • ABC
ABC — Mark Neely and Ray Bentley
West Virginia Radio Rutgers Radio
WAJR-AM 1440 (flagship) WOR-AM 710 (flagship)
Saturday’s game will be the 39th matchup between Rutgers and West Virginia in a series that dates to 1916 … The Mountaineers hold a 32-4-2 series lead and have won 16 straight against the Scarlet Knights … Rutgers’ last win in the series was a 17-12 decision in 1994 … The schools have met twice in the past five years when both teams were nationally ranked, including a triple-overtime classic in 2006 when No. 15 West Virginia edged No. 13 Rutgers, 41-39.
25/24 WEST VIRGINIA (5-2, 1-1 BIG EAST)
Dana Holgorsen (Iowa Wesleyan ’93)
5-2, first season
West Virginia suffered its first BIG EAST loss of the season with a 49-23 setback at Syracuse last Friday … The Mountaineers’ other loss had been to top-ranked LSU … West Virginia is ranked No. 25 in this week’s Bowl Championship Series rankings … … The Mountaineers lead the BIG EAST in total offense (489.9 ypg) and passing offense (374.4 ypg) … West Virginia is averaging 38.3 points per game, good for second in the BIG EAST … QB Geno Smith is ranked fifth nationally in passing (356.7 yards per game) … Smith has completed 189 of 299 passes for 2,497 yards and 18 touchdowns with five interceptions … WR Stedman Bailey is averaging 109.1 receiving yards per game to lead the BIG EAST and rank ninth nationally … Bailey has 41 catches for 764 yards and six touchdowns and has registered five consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards … WR Tavon Austin is averaging 89.1 receiving yards per game and is second nationally in all-purpose yards (183.0 ypg) … RB Dustin Garrison leads the team in rushing (494 yards, five touchdowns) … LB Pat Miller and LB Najee Goode have a team-high 47 tackles each.
RUTGERS (5-2, 2-1 BIG EAST)
Greg Schiano (Bucknell ’88)
64-64, 11th season
Rutgers enters Saturday’s game after seeing its four-game winning streak end with a 16-14 loss at Louisville … The Scarlet Knights have already surpassed last year’s total of one BIG EAST win and need just one more win to clinch bowl eligibility … Rutgers is 8-62-1 all-time against top-25 opponents, but 4-6 against that group since 2006 … The Scarlet Knights lead the BIG EAST in total defense (301.3 ypg), scoring defense (16.0 ppg) and pass efficiency defense (106.0) … Rutgers had just 17 sacks last season and has 24 through seven games this year … The Scarlet Knights lead the nation with 25 takeaways (15 interceptions, 10 fumble recoveries) … LB Khaseem Greene leads the BIG EAST in tackles (9.4 per game) … DE Justin Francis has a team-high 4.5 sacks, while LB Steve Beauharnais has nine tackles for loss … Freshman QB Gary Nova has completed 73 of 132 passes for 890 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions … WR Mohamed Sanu leads the BIG EAST in receptions (9.3 per game) and is second in receiving yards (97.6 ypg) … Sanu has registered back-to-back games with at least 10 receptions and 100 receiving yards … Rutgers leads the BIG EAST and is fourth nationally in average time of possession (34:17).