2011 Prediction & Game Story
Week 11, Rutgers at Army
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Nov. 12 Rutgers 27 … Army 12
CFN Analysis: Mohamed Sanu was unstoppable, catching 13 passes for 129 yards making life easy for Chas Dodd. Sanu was a man among boys against the Army secondary, and he managed to bail out an offense that couldn’t get the ground game going. … The defense was fine against the Army running game, allowing just 228 yards, but it still took too long to put the game away. It seemed like the Scarlet Knights had the game under control, but it was only a 13-12 game late until the special teams came through with a blocked punt for a score. … How bad was the ground game? 56 of the team’s 118 yards came in the final two minutes on Jawan Jamison’s touchdown run. … The Big East title is back in the mix again with Cincinnati losing to West Virginia. Next week, Rutgers can tie for the top spot with a win and a trip to UConn to go. The offense needs more than Sanu, though.
Aaron Santiago did a decent job, but the offense isn’t the same without an injured Trent Steelman. Santiago completed 6-of-15 passes for 77 yards, but he had to work hard against the Rutgers defense with 72 yards on 30 carries. … Larry Dixon ran nine times for 93 yards and a score, pulling the team within won in the fourth, but Alex Carlton missed the extra point and that was it. … The defense did a strong job against the Rutgers ground game. The defensive front that struggled at times got into the backfield and held firm until the final moments. Army had its chances to win, but it didn’t take advantage of its opportunities. Now the Knights are guaranteed of a losing season. … With Temple and Navy to close, the run defense will get hammered hard, so Santiago and the Army attack has to control the clock for over 35 minutes like it did against Rutgers.
(AP) NEW YORK -- After setting the Big East Conference single-season record for receptions in win over Army, Mohamed Sanu had his sights set on another prize -- the Big East Conference title for Rutgers.
After losing to West Virginia two weeks ago, those title hopes seemed farfetched. It all changed Saturday.
The Mountaineers knocked off first-place Cincinnati in a game win which Bearcats quarterback Zach Collaros suffered a severe ankle injury and second-place Louisville was beaten by Pittsburgh.
Following its 27-12 win over Army (3-7), Rutgers (7-3, 3-2 Big East) now finds itself a half game out of first place with the Bearcats (3-1) coming to Piscataway next weekend.
It wasn't lost on Sanu after he had 13 catches for 129 yards, pushing his season total to 93, one more than the league record set by Larry Fitzgerald of Pittsburgh in 2003. His total obviously also broke the Rutgers record of 87 set by Kenny Britt in 2008.
"It's pretty awesome to have my name up with those guys," Sanu said. "Just a blessing to be able to put myself in a category with those guys."
When asked to compare the title and record, Sanu did not hesitate.
"Definitely having a shot at the title," said Sanu, who was used as a safety for two weeks after arriving at Rutgers and then quickly switched to offense. "I would trade it in any day."
The Scarlet Knights didn't overwhelm Army in the first game between the schools since Scarlet Knights player Eric LeGrand was paralyzed in October 2010.
LeGrand took part in the coin toss before the game at Yankee Stadium along with Malcolm Brown, the player he tackled on his last college play.
Rutgers simply found a way to win, which is what they have been doing all season. It got by on this one getting a go-ahead 38-yard touchdown pass from Chas Dodd to Brandon Coleman in the third quarter and two late scores in the fourth, a 32-yard blocked punt return by Jordan Thomas and a 56-yard run by Jawan Jamison.
"What happened today was huge for us and we are excited about it but we just have to focus on one game at a time and get ready for Cincinnati," said Dodd, who was 17 of 27 for 196 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in his first start since Oct. 1.
Army self-destructed for the second straight week. Alex Carlton missing a potential game-tying extra point in the fourth quarter and a 51-yard run by Stephen Fraser to the Rutgers 1 with around seven minutes to play was nullified by a tripping penalty.
Trailing 13-12, Fraser put Army within a yard of the lead when he ran down the left sideline and was tackled in front of the Cadets' student body, sending them into a celebration. However, the yellow flag on the grass ended the joy.
"I didn't see it," said Army coach Rich Ellerson, whose team blew a 14-0 lead against Air Force last week and is now not eligible for a bowl game this season. "They said it was tripping but I didn't see it."
Army was eventually forced to punt and Rutgers took advantage.
Wayne Warren came up the middle and blocked Chris Boldt's punt. Thomas picked up the ball and scored for a 20-12 lead with 6:36 to go. Jamison iced game with less than two minutes to play.
Army could have tied the game at 13 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter after Larry Dixon scored on a 2-yard run set up by an interception and return by Thomas Holloway that gave the Black Knights the ball at the Rutgers 36. However Carlton, who hit two short field goals in the first quarter clanged his extra point off the right upright.
"It hurts really bad," Army quarterback Angel Santiago said. "I really wanted to come out here and win this game to show we still have what it takes. As you can see, a couple of calls, a couple of plays, didn't go our way."
Rutgers placekicker San San Te also struggled on the historic baseball stadium's yielding grass surface, hitting an extra point and a 26-yard field goal in the third quarter with Rutgers ahead 13-6 on the series after Dodd's TD to Coleman.
Army controlled the clock and outgained Rutgers 177-109 in the first half and found itself tied 6-all, and it was lucky to be tied.
Carlton kicked chip-shot field goal after the Black Knights first two drives stalled inside the Scarlet Knights 5. A 55-yard run by Larry Dixon set up the first kick and an 18-yard run by Santiago ignited the second.
Rutgers got on the board late in the second quarter after Army gambled on fourth-and-2 from the Rutgers 40 and Santiago was tackled for no gain.
Dodd then drove the Scarlet Knights 60 yards in eight plays. Jeremy Deering ran for 19 yards on first down and Sanu caught a 16-yard pass on the second play. Dodd eventually finished the drive with a 3-yard pass to fullback Michael Burton. Te's extra point was yanked wide left.
Rutgers (6-3) vs. Army (3-6) Nov. 12, 3:30, CBS Sports Network
Here’s The Deal … Rutgers and Army will renew their rivalry, with a twist this fall—the game will be played in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium. Though the venue might upstage the participants, both programs will arrive on Saturday with plenty at stake. For the second time this season, the Scarlet Knights erased a double-digit deficit to defeat a Big East opponent, knocking off South Florida, 20-17, last Saturday. The emotional win means Rutgers is bowl-eligible, though a seventh victory will only make its postseason case a little stronger.
The Black Knights don’t enjoy quite as much margin for error. The struggling program will need to win each of its final three games, including the season-ender with nemesis Navy, in order to qualify for a second consecutive bowl game. Since upsetting Northwestern on Sept. 17, Army has had few high points or opportunities to gain a head of steam.
Why Rutgers Might Win: Four teams have already slapped around Army for at least 500 yards; the Scarlet Knights will aim to become the fifth. Rutgers does not have a prolific attack, but it’s liable to flip the script versus a Cadets D that’s issues with getting to the quarterback, and standing up more physical opponents. The team might actually be more stable now that he’s handing to the ball to the seasoned Chas Dodd, who fueled the comeback a week ago. The sophomore will look to ignite a sagging running game, with help from RB Jawan Jamison, and get the ball to top receiver Mohamed Sanu in space. Sanu, in particular, will be too dynamic for the heavy-footed Army defenders.
Why Army Might Win: One week is often not enough time to prepare for the Black Knights triple-option offense, which is producing yards on the ground, 365, than any program in America. Army is eminently capable of wearing out opposing defenses with a combination of shifty QB Trent Steelman, feature back Raymond Maples and change-of-pace FB Jared Hassin. When this deliberate, north-south system is grinding out carries and first downs, it has a penchant for frustrating the other guys into costly mental mistakes. Army is disciplined, methodical and willing to be patient until it pops a big run.
What To Watch Out For: The Rutgers linebackers are sure to be busy this week. It’s a good thing that the program has a nice set of stoppers on the second level. Khaseem Greene has made his move from safety look like a shrewd one, collecting a Big East-best 92 tackles through nine games. And Steve Beauharnais has been used more as an edge rusher, ranking second on the team with 11 stops for loss. The Scarlet Knights are adept at filling the lanes, and shedding blockers, job requirements to slowing down the powerful Army ground game.
What Will Happen: Rutgers has already navigated one service academy, Navy. Army, on a neutral field, will be slightly less of a challenge. This is one of those rare games that the Scarlet Knights can spread their wings a bit on offense, taking their lead from a rejuvenated Dodd. Running lanes will be a little wider than normal, and Sanu ought to get numerous chances to make things happen in space. Sure, the Black Knights will ratchet up their usual production between the tackles, but they won’t have the required personnel to engineer a rally when the deficit reaches double-digits in the second half.
CFN Prediction: Rutgers 28 … Army 16
Click For Latest Line From ATS: Rutgers -7.5 O/U: 48
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