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January 21, 2013

The Monday Morning Kickoff

It was a big weekend on the mat for the Scarlet Knights while the men's basketball team nearly pulled off a big road upset. There is plenty going on within the Rutgers football program as well and The Monday Monday Morning Kickoff gets you set for a new week in the scarlet nation.

A view from the gridiron (Rutgers Football)
Rutgers bid farewell to offensive coordinator Dave Brock last week as he accepted the head coaching job at Delaware after one season at Rutgers.

"I was thrilled at Rutgers and I don't have anything but great things to say about the place and certainly the players," Brock said.

That leaves an opening at the offensive coordinator position, one that won't be handed over to anyone without prior coaching experience as an OC, according to head coach Kyle Flood.

"I am looking for somebody with Pro Style experience, but I think when I say that, it's probably important that I clarify that a little bit," Flood said on Friday. "To me, a Pro Style system should always be one that is able to utilize its weapons. Sometimes a Pro Style system will be a two-back offense, sometimes a Pro Style system will be a one-back offense and at times a Pro Style system will be a no-back offense. I think we've seen all of those certainly in the eight years I've been at Rutgers."

Classes will begin this week at Rutgers with class of 2013 enrollees Nadir Barnwell, Dean Crozier, Delon Stephenson, Lester Liston, Christopher Laviano and Dontea Ayres slated to start the spring semester.

Next weekend, Rutgers will host a big official visit weekend with Skai Moore expected to be in attendance as well as fellow Florida target Janarion Grant. Stay logged onto The Round Table for the latest on the complete visitor list for what is expected to be a big weekend in Piscataway.

Life on the mat (Rutgers Wrestling)
It was a big Friday night inside The RAC as Rutgers defeated No.14-ranked Lehigh in a 17-16 thriller. The victory was RU's first over Lehigh since 1950.

"Just to say we beat Lehigh, we don't have to hear about the 63 years and can't win big matches," said head coach Scott Goodale. "Lehigh is still Lehigh. We've struggled with them. They feel good coming here and every time they wrestle us, they feel like they're going to win. Our guys had to get over it and break that barrier. We finally did it and I think good things are going to happen with us now because we've got to believe we can beat these types of teams. It was important. It was a barrier we certainly needed to break through and we did."

The match came down to a heavyweight bout in which RU freshman Billy Smith earned a 6-0 decision with the Scarlet Knights trailing 16-14.

"It finished off well. I'm proud of everybody," Smith said. "We wrestled hard. That's what coach [Goodale] preaches. Obviously he wants to win, but if you wrestle your hardest that's all you can ask for. I'm sure he's proud of us and I'm proud of my team. It was awesome. Mentally, it puts me right there and gives me a big boost. I was happy to get it done for my team."

Rutgers was back at it again on Sunday as it notched road victories over Brown by a final of 31-12 and also downed Harvard 26-9. The Scarlet Knights are now 13-2 and will look to improve on that Friday night at West Virginia before a Saturday road matchup against Navy.

The take from center court (Rutgers Basketball)
Rutgers dropped a heartbreaker at Notre Dame on Saturday, falling 69-66 to the Irish. The Scarlet Knights trailed by as many as 13 in the second half before rallying to make it a one-point game with 5.7 seconds left.

But Eli Carter was called for a controversial charge when it appeared he was fouled on a drive to the basket, and Notre Dame held on.

"I thought it was a tremendous Big East basketball contest. Two teams scratching and clawing," said head coach Mike Rice. "Over the first six minutes, we gave them too many (open looks). (There was) not enough communications between our basketball team. We started guarding ball screens differently and we didn't communicate very well. We gave them too many open looks. I liked our response, though. We didn't put our heads down. Guys fought back. Guys didn't quit and it was a one-possession game. It's just tough the way that we lost it."

Carter produced a game-high 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting, while Myles Mack added 12 points.

With the loss, the Scarlet Knights moved to 12-5 overall and 3-3 in league play. They will try to get back over the .500 mark in the Big East when St. John's visit's the RAC on Wednesday night. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

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