Connecticut Huskies (3-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-2 SU, 0-3 ATS), Week 6 College Football, 7:30 p.m. EST, Friday, October 8, 2010, Rutgers Stadium, Piscataway, N.J. TV: ESPN
by Ryno, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Uconn -5.5/Rutgers U +5.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
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The Big East is wide open this season, so the conference opener for UConn and Rutgers is an important one. Every win in the Big East this season will be vital this season, as it’s anyone’s game. Even UConn and Rutgers could possibly be in contention for a conference title. But it all starts Friday night when the two teams battle it out in Piscataway.
UConn has scored at least 40 points in each of its three home games and has allowed no more than 21 points in any of those games. The Huskies have scored 16 or fewer points in each of their two road games and have allowed exactly 30 points in both road games. The Huskies are 3-0 at home and 0-2 on the road.
UConn started its season by losing two of its first three games. Its losses came to Michigan and Temple, both by at least two touchdowns. The win was at home over FCS team Texas Southern, 62-3. Since then, the Huskies have rebounded with easy wins at home over Buffalo and Vanderbilt.
In their 40-21 win over Vanderbilt last week, perhaps their most impressive performance thus far, the Huskies were trailing 21-14 late in the second quarter before scoring 26 straight points. UConn QB Cody Endres threw a touchdown pass right before the half to tie the game and then threw a touchdown pass early in the third quarter to take a 28-21 lead. After a field goal to extend the lead to 10 through three quarters, the Huskies came up big on defense in the fourth quarter by returning an interception for a touchdown and then adding a safety.
UConn RB Jordan Todman dominated on the ground with 37 carries for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Endres was 21-for-30 for 179 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The Huskies also allowed 169 rushing yards but only 157 passing yards. Most importantly, they forced three turnovers while committing two of their own.
Rutgers has not looked too impressive thus far. After winning 31-0 over Norfolk State at home to open the season, the Scarlet Knights barely got by Florida International, 19-14. After that, they competed with a tough North Carolina team but ultimately fell short, 17-13. Then, last week, they failed to really show up at home against Tulane in a 17-14 loss.
Rutgers QB Tom Savage injured his right hand in the loss to Tulane. His status is up in the air but he should be able to play on Friday.
With Savage leaving the game early on, Chas Dodd came in to replace him and was 13-for-29 for 176 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Mohamed Sanu was virtually Rutgers’ entire offense. He had nine carries for 121 yards, five receptions for 70 yards, a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown.
For the season, Sanu has 37 carries for 225 yards and three rushing touchdowns, and 21 receptions for 234 yards and two receiving touchdowns. Savage has 399 passing yards, a touchdown and three interceptions this season while competing 51.5 percent of his pass attempts. He certainly has not been very impressive. Joe Martinek has 43 carries for 176 yards and a touchdown.
Like Rutgers’ offense is carried by Sanu, UConn’s offense is carried by Todman, who has 98 carries for 638 rushing yards and seven touchdowns for a 6.5 yards-per-carry average. Frazer isn’t very impressive, either. He has 553 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception while completing 51.6 percent of his pass attempts.
UConn is 6-1 ATS in its last seven October games. Rutgers is 4-1 ATS in its last five Friday games. Rutgers is 0-4 ATS in its last four games overall. The over is 4-0 in UConn’s last four October games and 6-0 in UConn’s last six conference games. UConn is 4-0 ATS in its last four meetings at Rutgers and 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight games overall against Rutgers. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these teams.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This isn’t a very easy game to pick but if forced to make a call on it, I’d take the Scarlet Knights plus the points.