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December 3, 2012A new week begins in the Scarlet Nation with a bowl game on the horizon and plenty of hoops to look forward to this season. The Monday Morning Kickoff gets you ready for all that and more as the month of December will be a busy time in the world of Rutgers sports.
A view from the gridiron (Rutgers football)
Rutgers will go bowling for the seventh time in the last eight years as it accepted an invitation to the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28th in Orlando and will face ACC representative Virginia Tech.
"We're very excited and honored to represent our conference in the Russell Athletic Bowl down in Orlando," said head coach Kyle Flood. "A great game, from talking with some coaches who've been down there before and certainly a great destination, not just for our football team, but for our entire university and fan base. Orlando is a great city and a place people go for a lot of reasons in December. I think this will be one that will give our fans one more reason to go down there."
The last time Rutgers faced Virginia Tech came during the 2003 season when the Hokies dowend the Scarlet Knights by a score of 44-28 inside what was then Rutgers Stadium. Rutgers holds a 3-11 career mark against Virginia Tech with the last victory coming by a a score of 50-49 in 1992. After winning its first three meetings against Virginia Tech, Rutgers has dropped its last eleven contests against the Hokies.
Next weekend will begin an official visit weekend which will feature mainly the committed prospects to the RU class of 2013 such as defensive back Anthony Cioffi (Dayton), linebacker Lester Liston (Hargrave Military Academy) and defensive tackles Eric Wiafe (Egg Harbor Township) and Sebastian Joseph (Stroudsburg, Pa.).
Next weekend will also be championship weekend through the state of New Jersey. A host of championship mathcups will take place inside High Point Solutions Stadium highlighted by Manalapan (Saeed Blacknall), St. Joseph's Montvale (Kiy Hester) and South Brunswick (T.J. Taylor). Scarlet Nation will be on location all over the state covering these games and more over the course of next weekend.
Rutgers finished off its season with a 20-17 loss to Louisville on Saturday, ending with a 9-3 record and its first-ever share of the Big East title.
"It's a tough one to swallow. This one hurts," said sophomore wide receiver Brandon Coleman. "I wanted this so bad for Coach Flood and the seniors. Credit Louisville, they played a full four quarters, and they came out on top."
Rutgers will return to the practice field this Saturday as the team will now have three-plus weeks to prepare for its season finale against Virginia Tech.
The take from center court (Rutgers basketball)
Despite 15 points from guard Myles Mack and 14 on 7-of-8 shooting from Dane Miller, the Rutgers hoops team dropped an 80-67 road decision to Ole Miss in the Big East/SEC Invitational.
"You don't blink against this team and we certainly did and guys stepped up and made plays," said head coach Mike Rice. "I liked 75 percent of it, but the other 25 percent of it showed the weaknesses of this team which is a touch soft. We're going to have to remedy that in the next couple of weeks to compete against some of the good teams we're going to face throughout the year."
The team is back in action this Saturday at MSG against Iona at 9 p.m.