Saturday, December 4, 2010
Rutgers hanging in at halftime
By Brian Bennett
The scoreboard watching will be working mostly the other way, but Connecticut fans have to like this halftime update: West Virginia 14, Rutgers 7.
The Mountaineers seemed to be dominating most of the half, and Rutgers had only 32 total yards before its last drive of the half. But the Scarlet Knights finally got something going, using Jeremy Deering in the Wildcat very effectively. When Chas Dodd hit Jordan Thomas for an 18-yard touchdown, it capped a 79-yard drive that bled nearly seven minutes off the clock. West Virginia's defense almost never gives up drives like that.
The Mountaineers moved the ball almost at will through the air -- Geno Smith is 13-for-18 for 170 yards. But they also turned it over twice in the red zone, a big sack near the end of the half by Antonio Lowery forced a third-and-long on a promising drive. Rutgers then blocked a field-goal attempt.
West Virginia only led 14-7 last week at half and exploded in the second half. But this one feels like it should be comfortably in hand right now. The more the Mountaineers let Rutgers hang around, the more dangerous the Scarlet Knights become, because this is their bowl game.
The Mountaineers can't worry about UConn now. They have to worry about themselves.