Oct 25, 2011

West Virginia at Rutgers is the Champs Sports Bowl Game Of The Week

West Virginia leads series 32-4-2. (Last meeting: Dec. 4, 2010: WVU 35, Rutgers 14)

No. 25 West Virginia looks to regain its position as the Big East favorite when the team travels to Piscataway to face Rutgers in its second-consecutive road game. Both the Mountaineers and Scarlet Knights enter Saturday’s game with 5-2 records, each holding one Big East loss (both suffered last Friday night.) West Virginia has claimed at least a share of the conference title five of the last eight years.

The Mountaineers look to rebound from a stunning loss at the hands of Syracuse, the team’s second straight loss to the Orange. West Virginia entered the game averaging 41 points per contest, but was outscored 49-23 at the Carrier Dome. All-Big East quarterback Geno Smith, who leads the league in almost every statistical passing category, threw for 338 yards, but his two interceptions proved costly. The Orange held possession for almost 12 minutes longer than the Mountaineers. Sophomore Stedman Bailey continues to shine for West Virginia, leading the league in both receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. The Florida native reeled in seven catches for 130 yards and a score in Friday night’s loss.

Rutgers is also coming off of a surprising loss last Friday. Freshman quarterback Gary Nova, who reportedly hadn’t lost a game since eighth grade, epitomized the Scarlet Knight’s sloppy play. The last of his three interceptions came with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and sealed the victory for head coach Charlie Strong and the Cardinals. Mohamed Sanu was the lone bright spot for Rutgers, catching ten passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. The junior leads the Big East in receptions and has recorded 17 more than the next leading receiver, West Virginia’s Tavon Austin.

Extra point:

*West Virginia currently holds a 16-game winning streak over Rutgers, with the Scarlet Knight’s last win coming in 1994.

Expert Picks

Michel Champagne Michel Champagne currently serves as Chairman of Florida Citrus Sports, where his duties include leading Team Selection Committee. He is the Vice President of Operations and General Manager, Orlando Region for Bright House Networks.
Pick: West Virginia
Season Record: 7-5
Greg Warmoth Greg Warmoth spent 11 years as the weekend sports anchor for WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando before switching to the news desk in 1997. He currently anchors Eyewitness News Daybreak, Eyewitness News This Morning on TV-27 and Eyewitness News at Noon.
Pick: West Virginia
Season Record: 6-6
Marc Daniels Marc Daniels hosts The Beat Of Sports on ESPN 1080 AM in Orlando every weekday morning from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Daniels has over 20 years of experience on the air and is most well known as “the Voice of the UCF Knights” for all football, men’s basketball and baseball games on the UCF ISP Sports Network.
Pick: West Virginia
Season Record: 6-6
Jerry Greene Jerry Greene spent 33 years as a sportswriter at Florida Today, the Pensacola News Journal and the Orlando Sentinel before retiring in 2009. He now co-hosts The Beat of Sports with Daniels and contributes to ESPN.com’s Page 2 section.
Pick: Rutgers
Season Record: 5-7

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