Jawan Jamison and Kyle Federico combined for a ten point scoring flurry in the final three minutes of play to lead the Rutgers Scarlet Knights to a 23-13 victory over USF in the squads' Big East season opener on Thursday night.
With just under three minutes remaining and the scored tied at 13 all, Federico connected on a 22-yard field goal to give the Scarlet Knights the slim three-point lead.
Jamison wasn't content with just a slight lead, though
The Florida native and sophomore running back sprinted 41 yards down the field only a few plays later to cement the Scarlet Knights' victory, bolstering the team to a 3-0 record for the first time since 2007.
Jamison led the Rutgers offense for the third straight week, setting a school record with 41 rushing attempts and rushing for his fourth consecutive game of 100+ yards, going back to the 2011 season.
It wasn't just a single-handed effort from the Scarlet Knights running back, though. Quarterback Gary Nova posted a season-best performance, going 23-of-42 for 277 yards and no interceptions.
If the Rutgers offense, which racked up almost 400 yards of total offense on Thursday night, can find that kind of rhythm again, they might find themselves no longer the biggest question in the Scarlet Knights' future success this season.
As per usual, the Rutgers offense was aided by their dominant defense, led by senior linebacker Khaseem Greene, who posted his fifth consecutive game with at least ten tackles.
The Scarlet Knights also picked off USF quarterback B.J. Daniels three times in the Big East victory.
The defensive unit continued to look Big East championship caliber, controlling the game from the beginning.
Perhaps no performance was bigger than the Scarlet Knights' stopping a final USF drive, forcing the Bulls to go out on downs and giving the offense - and Jamison - the ball back to set up the final touchdown of the game.
Naturally, there were mistakes. Rutgers has yet to perform in a mistake free game, but if we're being honest, neither have many other teams in any other league throughout the country.
The Scarlet Knights did what they did best; they found a way to win in a physical setting.
Was it perfect?
No, but with the victory, the Scarlet Knights are supremely confident, with an extended practice regiment over the next week before they line up against Arkansas next Saturday night.