SB Nation New York
Stay connected for news and updates Follow @sbnationny
Like us to subscribe
Rutgers University head football coach Greg Schiano is unsure who his starter will be for the Scarlet Knights' Week 8 match up at Louisville. The decision is easy. It should be Gary Nova.
For the third straight week a Rutgers University football player has been named the Big East Conference Defensive Player Of The Week. On Monday, sophomore cornerback Logan Ryan earned the honor after snagging two interceptions, including a 45-yard pick-six that cemented the Scarlet Knights' 34-10 victory over Big East foe the University of Pittsburgh Saturday. Ryan also tallied a pass break up and four tackles.
Overall, the Rutgers defense totaled four interceptions and six sacks, while allowing just 271 total yards.
Meanwhile, senior defensive tackle Justin Francis was named to the Big East honor roll. Francis collected eight tackles, four for a loss, and 2.5 sacks.
Currently, the Scarlet Knights (4-1, 2-0 Big East) are atop the Big East standings. West Virginia University (5-1, 1-0) is behind Rutgers, while Pitt (3-3, 1-1) is in third.
The Rutgers football schedule features the Scarlet Knights hosting Navy on Saturday (2 p.m.). The following week, Rutgers will host the University of Louisville, Friday, Oct. 21 (8 p.m. on ESPN2).
The Rutgers University football program used a spectacular four-touchdown second-half performance Saturday to beat the University of Pittsburgh, 34-10, in a Big East Conference game at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, NJ. True freshman quarterback Gary Nova tossed for two TDs, while freshman running back Savon Huggins ran for another, but it was the Rutgers' defense that sparked the offense in the Scarlet Knights third straight victory. Rutgers is 4-1 overall.
Rutgers defense collected four interceptions, three off of Pittsburgh senior quarterback Tino Sunseri, and one was returned by sophomore corner back Logan Ryan for a 45-yard TD, which capped the game's scoring with 6:06 to go in the fourth quarter. The Scarlet Knights also collected six sacks, 2.5 from senior defensive tackle Justin Francis.
"It was a total defense thing," said Francis after the game. "My defense, they have my back. I got to have my defense back there. It showed on the field. We played fast, we played violent, we had fun and it showed."
Despite the game-opening drive, which lead to a 29-yard field goal by Pittsburgh senior kicker Kevin Harper, the Scarlet Knights defense didn't allow the Panthers to get out of their own territory in the first half. The second half featured only two trips inside Rutgers territory for Pitt, and only one of those drives led to points -- a three-yard plunge by junior tailback Ray Graham.
All game long, the Scarlet Knight defense gave its offense great field position, which led to Rutgers dominating in time of possession, 34:57 to 25:03. Rutgers also held Pitt to only 2-of-14 on third-down conversions.
Last week, in a 19-16 victory over Syracuse University, the Rutgers defense was just as effective. The Scarlet Knights held the Orange offense to just three field goals -- SU's lone TD came on the defensive side -- and forced five turnovers. The final turnover came in double overtime and ended the game. In five games, the defense has forced 24 turnovers.
True freshman quarterback Gary Nova completed 11-of-24 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns for Rutgers University, which used four second-half TDs Saturday to beat the University of Pittsburgh, 34-10, in a Big East Conference game at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, NJ. The victory snapped the Scarlet Knights two-game losing streak to Pitt (3-3, 1-1 Big East) and vaulted Rutgers (4-2, 2-0) to the top of the Big East standings.
Nova, who got the starting nod over sophomore Chas Dodd, connected on two third-quarter TDs to propel his team to its third straight win. The first TD was a six-yarder to junior wide receiver Mark Harrison, which gave Rutgers a 13-3 advantage about midway through the third quarter. The other was a late-third quarter screen pass to senior fullback Joe Martinek, who took it 60 yards to the end zone and extended the Scarlet Knights lead to 20-3.
"It is a feeling I've dreamed of my whole life," said Martinek, who finished the game with five catches for 76 yards. "A pack stadium, the fans going crazy. It is such a great feeling."
Then, with the game at 20-10 early in the fourth quarter, Rutgers picked off Pitt's junior quarterback Tino Sunseri deep inside Panthers' territory. The Scarlet Knights used just three plays to score their third second-half TD, a three-yard plug by freshman running back Savon Huggins, to increase the margin to 27-10 with 13:06 remaining in the game.
Rutgers cemented the victory late in the fourth quarter when sophomore cornerback Logan Ryan picked off Sunseri and ran it back 45 yards for a TD. The interception was Sunseri's third pick of the game and Rutgers fourth of the day. The Scarlet Knights defense finished the contest with six sacks.
Pittsburgh junior running back Ray Graham ran for 162 yards. Graham leads the nation with 896-rushing yards.
Next week, the Rutgers football schedule features the Scarlet Knights hosting non-conference opponent Navy. Check back to SB Nation New York for more on Rutgers victory over Pitt.
University of Pittsburgh junior quarterback Tino Sunseri has thrown two interceptions and Rutgers University has kicked two field goals to take a 6-3 halftime advantage in a Big East Conference football game at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, NJ. Senior kicker San San Te connected a career-long 50-yard field goal in the first quarter, and then nailed a 44-yarder in the second quarter for the Scarlet Knights (3-2, 1-0 Big East) who are trying to snap a two-game losing streak to the Panthers (3-2, 1-0).
Freshman quarterback Gary Nova, who got the start over sophomore Chas Dodd, has thrown for 57 yards, but hasn't made any big mistakes, while freshman running back Savon Huggins has carried the ball a team-high six times for 17-rushing yards. Meanwhile, the Rutgers defense has already totaled four sacks and has allowed just 110 total yards.
Pitt got on the scoreboard first with a 29-yard field goal by junior kicker Kevin Harper, who capped the game's opening drive, which lasted 14 plays and went for 74 yards.
The Scarlet Knights have 102 total yards, but just one first down. Rutgers will begin the second half with the football.
A carrier-long 50-yard field goal by senior kicker San San Te has helped Rutgers University tie the University of Pittsburgh, 3-3, in a Big East Conference football game at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, NJ. San Te's kick came after the Scarlet Knights defense held Pittsburgh to a three-and-out deep side its own territory. The Panthers (3-2, 1-0 Big East) punted and Rutgers (3-1, 1-0) started its second possession at its own 38-yard line. Three plays later, San Te kicked the field goal.
One Rutgers possession later, the Scarlet Knights drove to the Pitt 16-yard line, but freshman quarterback Gary Nova fumbled the snap and the Panthers recovered. Pitt will begin the second quarter with the ball and near midfield.
Pitt got on the scoreboard first with a 29-yard field goal by junior kicker Kevin Harper, who capped a 14-play, 74-yard drive. Junior quarterback Tino Sunseri has already thrown two interceptions.