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Rutgers Must Win Thursday

Rutgers will once again try to capture their first ever Big East Championship on Thursday night when they host the Louisville Cardinals at High Point Solutions Stadium. The Scarlet Knights missed their chance when they lost to Pittsburgh last weekend by a score of 27-6. They were helped by the fact that Louisville was beaten by Connecticut in overtime. Both teams are 9-2 on the season with Rutgers leading the Big East with a conference record of 5-1.

Louisville’s sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater broke his left wrist during the Connecticut game but came back in the second half to lead the Cardinals comeback. He is expected to play Thursday night. Bridgewater is second in the Big East Conference in passing yards where he averages 289.9 yards a game. He has thrown for 3189 yards with 23 touchdowns this season while leading the Big East in passing efficiency. He has completed 68.8% of his passes.

The Scarlet Knights defense will have their hands full as Louisville leads the Big East in scoring offense. They have scored 352 points through 11 games for an average of 32 points-per-game. They are also third in the conference in total offense where they average 431.3 yards-per-game. Rutgers does catch a break in that junior running back Senorise Perry is out for the season after suffering an ACL injury a few weeks back.

Rutgers, Scarlet Knights
Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
If Rutgers wants to win that elusive title they will need to re-establish running back Jawan Jamison. Jamison hasn’t been the same runner since suffering an ankle injury against Army. He’s been limited to 13 carries for 51 yards the last two games against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. He did go over the 1000 yard mark against Pittsburgh but he will need more touches if they want to have success against Louisville.

This is a huge opportunity for the team and arguably their most important game since they knocked off the third ranked Louisville team in November of 2006. All the good feelings this season has brought along with the move to the Big Ten will all be washed away if they lose at home Thursday night. The fan base is craving a BCS Bowl after the team failed to deliver in 2006 and last season. Their time could be running out.
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