Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Too Big for an Update

Tonight the Empire State Building was limned in scarlet in honor of the Knights. And then, much as one would expect, Rutgers went down 25-7 early in the second. Louisville would level the same smak on the Knights that they did on the Mountaineers. Offense. Defense. Special teams. It was over. And only my love for beer, an absence of other things to do, and a hopeless romantic streak kept me watching.

The rest you can read about elsewhere. The bottom line, when all was said and done, a sea of scarlet stormed the field -- the blimp cam (blimp cam in Piscataway New Jersey!) showed a field full of scarlet, little yellow rings of security ringing each goalpost, because God damn, after beating the number 3 team in the country, Rutgers actually had a reason to bring them down.

What did it take? A 74-yard pass play in the fourth quarter, capped by the receiver recovering his own fumble inside the 5. An offside penalty against Louisville that enabled Jeremy Ito, the Rutgers kicker, to take a second whack after missing a 32-yard kick at the end of the game. And he made it. But this, and everything else that happened in the second half, is the product of a best-in-the-nation defense rattling the hell out of the national title contender with the second-best offense in the country. The same offense that barely moved the ball during the second half, gaining only two or three first downs in the entire half.

This is the real shit, right here. Even if they win out, even if they whip WVU's asses in the first week of December, Rutgers won't get a shot at the national title, and to be fair they probably don't deserve it. But I say that only because I think Louisville didn't deserve it either, because if Louisville deserved it, then so does Rutgers, which just outclassed them across the board.

Here's to Brian Leonard, Ray Rice, the nameless but brilliant Rutgers defense, and Coach Schiano, who's put this team on the map. And here's to the Scarlet Knights, for tonight, for a few moments, providing the other bookend to the history of college football.

The rest is up to the coaches, the players, the computers . . . and the WVU Mountaineers.

It's going to be a fun ride; it already is one.

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