Mark Harrison

Injury knocks Rutgers’ leading returning receiver out for spring

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When Rutgers takes the field for its second spring practice under Kyle Flood Tuesday, the Scarlet Knights will do so without one of its top offensive weapons.

Flood confirmed Monday that wide receiver Brandon Coleman will miss all 15 spring practice sessions due to injury.  Coleman will undergo what was described by the head coach as “a minor procedure” on his knee.

Flood didn’t seem concerned that the injury will have any long-term impact on the 6-6, 220-pound redshirt junior.

“We thought this was the best time to do that, so he will sit out this spring,” Flood said in quotes distributed by the team. “You will not see him out there on the field.”

Last season, Coleman led the Scarlet Knights in receiving yards (718) and receiving touchdowns (10), while he was second to senior Mark Harrison in receptions (43).  Coleman will enter the 2013 season four touchdowns away from breaking the school’s all-time record in that category.

Gutsy Bridgewater helps Louisville grab share of Big East title, BCS berth

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Tonight’s game between Louisville and Rutgers was jokingly dubbed the “ACC vs Big Ten Challenge” thanks to future conference affiliations, but the Cardinals came away with this year’s Big East title.

Louisville knocked off Rutgers 20-17 to grab a share of the Big East title and a likely trip to either the Orange Bowl or Sugar Bowl. Rutgers and Syracuse also share the Big East title and Cincinnati can make it a four-way tie with a win over UConn this weekend. However, the BCS representative will be the Big East team with the highest ranking. That’s expected to be Louisville.

It initially appeared as though the BCS bid would go to the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers had a 14-3 lead over Louisville at the half thanks to a pair of long touchdown passes from quarterback Gary Nova to Brandon Coleman and Mark Harrison. But RU’s offense couldn’t replicate the big plays in the second half and receiver Tim Wright dropped some passes that otherwise would have gone for big plays.

And then there was Kyle Flood‘s fake field goal call that went for a touchdown, but was called back because of an ineligible player downfield. Rutgers then elected to punt instead and Louisville drove 90 yards on 14 plays to score a touchdown on the very next drive.

We noted at the beginning of the game that UL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater would not start because of wrist and ankle injuries he suffered against UConn last week, but did Bridgewater deliver a gutsy performance. Visibly hurting, Bridgewater still threw for 263 yards and a pair of scores. The sophomore was unable to step into throws causing some passes to float high, and limped off the field after every drive. Sharing playing time with Will Stein seemed like a bizarre move at the start of the game considering what was on the line, but even one play off gave Bridgewater a little relief.

Bridgewater even got a shout-out from Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

It was a gritty showing by Louisville, especially after dropping the last two games. And now the preseason Big East favorites will likely be back in the BCS for the first time since the 2007 Orange Bowl.