2010 West Virginia Mountaineers Football Preview: Rutgers

Chris HumphreyCorrespondent ISeptember 2, 2010

PISCATAWAY, NJ - NOVEMBER 12:  The Rutgers Scarlet Knights take the field to play against the South Florida Bulls at Rutgers Stadium on November 12, 2009 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

For yet another season finale, the Mountaineers will matchup with the Scarlet Knights, this time being in Morgantown.

As Greg Schiano enters his 10th season, the expectations have grown more and more since their 2006 11-2 season where high quality play has become more expected in Piscataway.

After last season’s 9-4 record, the Scarlet Knights might be looking forward to a 2010 campaign that might resemble more of what was accomplished during their great run five years ago.

The Scarlet Knights offense will need to improve after somewhat meager 2009 as it produced a little more than 325 yards a game of total offense for 97th in the nation while finishing last in the Big East.

After being the youngest starting quarterback in the league in 2009, sophomore Tom Savage will be the most experienced starter under center as many other league schools will be breaking in new quarterbacks after departures of veterans.

Savage impressed as a freshman while completing more than 50 percent of his passes for more than 2,200 yards along with 14 touchdowns to go with seven interceptions.

The offense will have plenty of opportunistic playmakers including blossoming wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, who complied three separate 100-yard receiving days along with a 100 on the ground coming out of the trendy Wildcat formation.

Elsewhere on offense, junior running back Joe Martinek will return to lead his style of punishing ball carrying to the ground game that helped him gain more than 900 yards and nine touchdowns in 2009.

The Rutgers defensive unit was the highpoint of 2009 as it held most opponents in check while only allowing only 307 yards in total defense good for best in conference play along with 18th in the nation.

The defense will have leading tackler senior linebacker Antonio Lowery return to a weak LB corps, while Lowey accumulated 55 tackles with 25 tackles being solo in 2009.

The secondary will feature depth of talent in senior Joe Lefeged and Khaseem Green leading the way while lacking the services of Devin McCourty this season.

The special teams will likely be tops of the Big East as kicker San San Te and punter Teddy Dellaganna represent one of the more talented special team combos in the league for the 2011 season.

As the Mountaineers end their 2010 season, West Virginia will collect their first 11-win year since 2007 with a 28-17 win over Rutgers.