Rutgers improved to a perfect 5-0 on Saturday with a 19-3 win over UConn. It was an ugly defensive struggle at times, but the Scarlet Knights scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the second half and never looked back.
Rutgers squandered quality field position in the first half, coming away with two field goals after forcing two UConn turnovers. The Scarlet Knights were knocking on the door several times, but the UConn defense kept them out of the end zone and cut the lead in half with a field goal of their own in the second quarter.
But Rutgers would finally break through for a touchdown on their first drive of the second half, with Gary Nova hitting wideout Mark Harrison for a 14-yard touchdown. Harrison caught the Nova strike on the right sideline and cut it up to the pylon for the 10-point lead. The play capped an 84-yard scoring drive that featured a nice pass-run mix, with Jawan Jamison stepping up in support of Nova. Jamison had several big runs (one of which was a TD wiped out on holding call), and he broke off a 28-yard rush to move Rutgers across midfield and deep into UConn territory. Nova would connect with Harrison three plays later.
Rutgers had a touted defense coming into the game, and they certainly lived up to their reputation for the full 60 minutes. UConn averaged less than two yards per rush, and Chandler Whitmer threw for just 187 yards. Kyle Flood's defense also forced three big turnovers. Any hopes of a UConn comeback were extinguished when the Rutgers defense came up with two interceptions on two straight Huskies fourth-quarter possessions. Wayne Warren took his interception all the way back to the end zone, effectively icing the game with less than five minutes to play.
Box Score Hero: The Rutgers offense struggled at times, but running back Jawan Jamison consistently kept the chains moving. Jamison finished with 120 yards on 28 carries, and broke off a couple huge runs that resulted in points his team.
Rankings Ramifications: Rutgers took care of business in the conference, and could move up a few spots in both polls depending on what happens to those ahead of them in the afternoon and evening games.
But Did They Cover? The Scarlet Knights covered the seven-point spread.
For More On This Game: For more on Scarlet Knights football, visit Rutgers blog On The Banks, plus Big East blog Big East Coast Bias and SB Nation New York. For more on Huskies football, visit UConn blog The UConn Blog.
Next Week's Schedule: Rutgers will now welcome Syracuse to Piscataway, while UConn will host Temple.