By: Eric Finelli
Rutgers vs. UConn: An always-unpredictable matchup. With the exception of 2011, the Rutgers vs. UConn rivalry has been a good one the past few years. Rutgers has stolen the last three out of four meetings with the Huskies, but the Huskies got the last laugh last year, when they eliminated Rutgers from Big East title contention. Rutgers, no matter how many times they deny it, is looking for revenge this year.
Throw out the records for this one.
Connecticut is 3-2, Rutgers is 4-0. In this game, those records mean nothing. Like most Big East rivalry matchups, no matter how each team looks going into the game, the result is always a toss up. Two years ago, Rutgers kicked a field goal with 13 seconds left to win, and the year before that Tim Brown took a slant 81 yards to win with 22 seconds left on the clock. Last year, the Huskies dominated Rutgers 40-22, with 12 of Rutgers’ points coming well after the game was already decided. I don’t care what Kyle Flood says; Rutgers will be looking for revenge in this game.
Don’t expect a shootout.
Rutgers comes into this game ranked 22nd in the nation, and boasts the second best defense in the conference. The only better ranked defense in the Big East? Connecticut. Gary Nova is coming off a huge performance against Arkansas, and the extra bye week should give Rutgers a big edge in preparation for this game. That being said, I expect the running game to be a huge part of Rutgers’ offense. I would be shocked if Nova threw over 25-30 times in this game, but if the Huskies can shut down Jawan Jamison, it might come down to Nova having to make big plays.
Prediction: Rutgers 17, UConn 10
This game is extremely hard to predict. Recently when Rutgers has had a target on it’s back, it has failed to live up to expectations. So it will be interesting to see how prepared they come out for this game. Rutgers has been known to play letdown games after big wins, and the win over Arkansas was huge. I can only hope that the Scarlet Knights used their bye week effectively and Kyle Flood has the team ready to play when they take the field Saturday. Expect a heavy dose of Jamison this weekend and hopefully a capital W.