NCAA Game Summary - West Virginia at Rutgers|
(Saturday, October 29th)
Final Score: (25) West Virginia 41, Rutgers 31
Piscataway, NJ (Sports Network) - Geno Smith threw for 218 yards and two
touchdowns and ran for the eventual game-winning touchdown with just over six
minutes remaining, as No. 25 West Virginia topped Rutgers, 41-31, at a snowy
High Point Solutions Stadium.
Trailing 31-28, the Mountaineers grabbed the lead and didn't look back. Smith
led an 11-play, 89-yard drive all the way down to the Rutgers one, where the
Mountaineers faced a 4th-and-goal and elected to go for it rather than kicking
the field goal. Smith kept the ball, sprinted toward the right corner of the
end zone and dove across the goal line to give his team a 34-31 lead.
Shawne Alston had a big day on the ground, rushing 14 times for 111 yards and
two touchdowns, while Tavon Austin caught eight passes for 67 yards and a
score. He also rushed for 96 yards and a score for the Mountaineers (6-2, 2-1
Gary Nova threw for 235 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for
Rutgers (5-3, 2-2), which hasn't beaten West Virginia since September 1994.
Jawan Jamison rushed for 97 yards and two touchdowns, while Mohamed Sanu and
Mark Harrison caught touchdown passes for the Scarlet Knights.
Following the go-ahead score, Rutgers had a chance to tie or take the lead
with their next possession, but Nova was sacked on second down and lost the
football. It was recovered by West Virginia at the 37.
West Virginia capitalized on its opportunity to seal the victory. On 2nd-
and-9, Smith swung a pass out to Austin in the flat and the running back did
the rest, sprinting 20 yards to paydirt to account for the final score.
Rutgers drew first blood midway through the opening quarter when the Scarlet
Knights forced a three-and-out and the offense took over with great field
position at the West Virginia 28.
Rutgers moved the ball down to the 23 and San San Te capped the short four-
play drive with a 40-yard field goal, giving his team a 3-0 lead.
The Mountaineers took the lead on their ensuing drive. Dustin Garrison ran for
seven yards on first down and caught a 15-yard pass on the next play to put
the ball on the 48. From there, Alston broke a 52-yard touchdown sprint to
finish off the three-play, 74-yard drive and make it 7-3.
With just under five minutes to go in the first quarter, Rutgers took the lead
back thanks to a spectacular defensive play. Following a sack of Smith for a
14-yard loss, Manny Abreu recovered a fumble on the 11-yard line. Nova
connected with Sanu for a 14-yard strike and a 10-7 lead.
West Virginia responded through, as Austin rumbled 80 yards on the first play
of the Mountaineers next drive to make it 14-10.
But Rutgers came back with another big play on its next possession as Nova
hooked up with Harrison on a 45-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-14.
Early in the second quarter, West Virginia capitalized on some great field
position after recovering a fumble at the Rutgers seven-yard line. From there,
Alston punched the ball into the end zone for a two-yard touchdown run, making
But again the Scarlet Knights fought back to take the lead with an impressive
nine-play, 63-yard drive capped by a one-yard touchdown push by Jamison,
giving his team a 24-21 advantage.
Midway through the second quarter Rutgers expanded its lead to 31-21 when Nova
led his team on an 11-play, 74 yard drive. Faced with a 4th-and-1, the Scarlet
Knights elected to go for it, handing the ball to Jamison, who scampered 18
yards to paydirt.
With just over seven minutes to go in the third quarter, West Virginia got
within three when Smith concluded a seven-play, 46-yard drive by finding
Stedman Bailey in the corner of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown pass to
make it 31-28.
West Virginia leads the all-time series, 35-4-2 and has won the last 17
meetings between the teams...Rutgers hasn't beaten West Virginia since
September 10, 1994, when they prevailed by a 17-12 score...Former Rutgers
defensive tackle Eric LeGrand, who had his football career ended due to a neck
injury, led the team out to the 50-yard line prior to the game...The Scarlet
Knights had their four game winning streak stopped.
10/29 21:01:38 ET