The Rutgers Scarlet Knights took control of their game against USF in a turnover-filled third quarter on Thursday night. The Bulls had two giveaways in the first five minutes of the second half, and the Rutgers offense took advantage, adding another field goal and the first touchdown for either team.
Rutgers received the kick to start the second half, but they were forced to punt after a quick three-and-out. USF punt returner Terence Mitchell muffed the punt, however, and Rutgers was there to recover at the 37-yard line. It appeared quarterback Gary Nova found Brandon Coleman in the back of the end zone for the first touchdown of the game, but a USF defensive back came in late to drill Coleman in the shoulder and jar the ball loose. Rutgers settled for a 30-yard field goal to even things up at 6-6.
Nova and the offense would not be off the field for long, as USF QB B.J. Daniels was picked off on just their second offensive play. Daniels threw a short screen pass to the left that went off the hands of his running back and into the arms of a diving Jamal Merrell. This time, the Rutgers offense would punch it in, with Nova finding Mark Harrison for a six yard touchdown and the 13-6 lead.
It looked like USF would cut the lead to three as the Bulls marched down the field and had the Rutgers defense on their heels at the end of the quarter. But the Scarlet Knights forced yet another turnover when a Daniels pass was tipped again at the goal line. It was Wayne Warren who came under this one to pick it off in the end zone and force a touchback.
Nova has the Knights on the move again as the third quarter comes to a close with Rutgers up 13-6.