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UConn's Lutrus cleared, and is Rutgers game a rivalry?

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Finally a bit of good news for UConn.

Linebacker Scott Lutrus is cleared and ready to play Saturday against Rutgers, coach Randy Edsall said Thursday. Lutrus suffered a stinger in the Ohio game and was out until the Pitt game, when he got another stinger. He hasn't played since.

But Lutrus has been practicing all week and shows no ill effects, Edsall said.

Speaking of the Rutgers-Connecticut game, I wonder how much of a rivalry this has become.

The two schools are only about 170 miles apart, and they've produced some close games of late. Five of the last seven meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less, including last year's 12-10 win by the Scarlet Knights.

I asked a couple of UConn players their opinions about the series this week. Quarterback Cody Endres said he thought it was a rivalry, while linebacker Greg Lloyd didn't think it was. Here's what Jordan Todman told reporters on Tuesday:

"I think of it as a natural rivalry," he said. "We have a good amount of players here from the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area that know each other so it's close whenever. "

These are two programs that pride themselves on being physical and running the ball. They recruit some of the same areas. The Big East will be better when Rutgers, UConn and Syracuse are all operating on a high level and creating interest in the Northeast.

Ultimately, whether a series is a rivalry comes down to how the fans view it. So I'm asking you, Scarlet Knights and Huskies backers: Do you see this game as a real rivalry, a budding rivalry or just another game on the schedule?