PISCATAWAY, N.J. (November 6, 2011) – Rutgers overcame a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat USF 20-17 in overtime Saturday night at High Point Solutions Stadium. The BIG EAST victory was fueled late by QB Chas Dodd (Lyman, S.C.), WR Mohamed Sanu (South Brunswick, N.J.) and WR Brandon Coleman (Accokeek, Md.). Dodd completed 11-of-17 passes coming off the bench, including eight passes to Sanu and a touchdown throw to Coleman in the final 90 seconds of play.
The game-winning field goal that moved RU to 6-3 overall (3-2 BIG EAST) was nailed from 37 yards by San San Te (Conover, N.C.) on the second possession of the first overtime. The attempt was set up after DB Duran Harmon (Magnolia, Del.) corralled a tipped pass by USF’s B.J. Daniels for a possession-changing interception. Harmon leads RU with five interceptions on the season.
The loss dropped USF to 4-4 overall (0-4 BIG EAST).
The tying score in regulation was a Dodd-to-Coleman connection from 34 yards out. After a defensive stand by Rutgers, Dodd hurled a deep throw to the 6-foot-6 wide receiver, who leapt in the end zone to snag the catch with 1:08 remaining in the contest.
Jeremy Deering (Tampa, Fla.) took his chance to make things interesting in the final quarter after USF took a 17-3 lead. A four-yard touchdown run by USF’s Demetri Murray at 7:38 in the fourth quarter looked to dampen RU’s chances, but Deering took the ensuing kickoff back 98 yards for Rutgers, sprinting past Bulls down the middle of the field to make it 17-10 with 7:25 left in the game.
The Scarlet Knights first got on the scoreboard off the foot of Te at 7:20 in the third quarter. The RU kicker nailed a 33-yard field goal attempt to close the gap on USF, 10-3.
USF took a 7-0 lead at the 6:11 mark in the second quarter when Daniels hit a slanting Victor Marc for a 23-yard catch and touchdown. With 36 seconds remaining in the opening half, the Bulls added a 43-yard field goal from kicker Maikon Bonani to push the score to 10-0 in favor of USF.
The Scarlet Knights and Bulls played to a 0-0 score in the first quarter, with RU punting three times and USF punting twice.
Rutgers football next heads to New York City, taking on Army inside Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 12. The game is set to kickoff at 3:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
POST GAME NOTES
Rutgers erased a 17-3 deficit with 7:38 to play in the fourth quarter to earn a 20-17 victory in overtime over USF Saturday night at High Point Solutions Stadium. The Scarlet Knights are 2-0 in overtime games this season and 4-4 all-time in OT contests.
For the second time this season, Rutgers erased a deficit of 10 or more points in the fourth quarter to earn an overtime victory in BIG EAST play. The Scarlet Knights trailed 13-3 in the fourth quarter Oct. 1 at Syracuse before QB Gary Nova (Elmwood Park, N.J.) rallied RU for a win.
For the third time in 2011, Rutgers rallied from a fourth quarter deficit for a win. It was the 11th time under Greg Schiano the Scarlet Knights rallied for a fourth quarter victory.
Fourth Quarter Comebacks under Schiano
Year Opponent (QB) 4th Q Deficit Final Score
2011 USF (Dodd) 3-17 20-17 OT
2011 Navy (Nova) 14-17 21-20
2011 at Syracuse (Nova) 3-13 19-16 2 OT
2010 Army (Dodd) 3-17 23-20 OT
2010 UConn (Dodd) 17-24 27-24*
2010 at FIU (Savage) 13-14 19-14
2009 at UConn (Savage) 21-24 28-24*
2008 NC State (Teel) 19-23 29-23
2006 Louisville (Teel) 22-25 28-25*
2006 at USF (Teel) 13-14 22-20
2004 at Vanderbilt (Hart) 16-34 37-34*
* Game-winning drive with less than two minutes remaining
Rutgers (6-3, 3-2 BIG EAST) is now bowl-eligible for the sixth time in seven seasons after tonight’s 20-17 victory over USF.
For the 50th time under Greg Schiano, Rutgers scored a defensive or special teams touchdown with Jeremy Deering’s (Tampa, Fla.) 98-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter. It marked the fifth non-offensive touchdown of the year for RU.
Game captains for the Scarlet Knights were senior OL Desmond Wynn (Bear, Del.), junior WR Tim Wright (Wall, N.J.), junior LB Khaseem Greene (Elizabeth, N.J.) and junior LB Steve Beauharnais (Saddle Brook, N.J.).
Junior WR Mohamed Sanu (South Brunswick, N.J.) led Rutgers with 11 receptions for 113 yards. It marked the eighth 100-yard receiving game of his career, moving Sanu into sole possession of third place in RU career history.
Sanu has 81 receptions on the season for 844 yards. He is tied for second in single-season history at Rutgers in receptions with Tres Moses (81 in 2004). The 844 yards receiving in 2011 rank Sanu eighth in RU single-season history.
The 81 receptions place Sanu in a tie for fifth in BIG EAST single-season history.
Sanu now has 176 career receptions, fourth in school history, moving past former consensus All-America TE Marco Battaglia (171 career receptions) in the record books.
Sanu is now 10th in career history at RU with 1,901 career receiving yards.
Sophomore QB Chas Dodd (Lyman, S.C.) came off the bench to complete 11-of-17 passes for 125 yards with one touchdown and one INT. It marked the third fourth quarter comeback victory of Dodd’s career.
Sophomore RB Jeremy Deering (Tampa, Fla.) returned a fourth quarter kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. The 98-yard kickoff return tied for the third-longest kickoff return in school history and the first for RU since Damaso Munoz returned an onside kick 35 yards in the 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl victory over UCF.
Senior PK San San Te (Conover, N.C.) booted his third career game-winning field goal with his 37-yard FG in overtime to secure the win. Te also kicked a game-deciding 47-yard field goal in overtime at Syracuse (game ended with a Syracuse fumble in overtime) and a 34-yard FG last season to defeat UConn 27-24.
Redshirt freshman WR Brandon Coleman (Accokeek, Md.) finished with career-highs in receptions (three) and receiving yards (75) in the victory. Coleman’s 34-yard touchdown reception from Dodd with 1:08 to play in regulation tied the game at 17.
Junior LB Khaseem Greene (Elizabeth, N.J.) posted a career-high 17 tackles. Greene’s previous best for tackles was 14 earlier in the season against Navy. It was the most tackles by a Scarlet Knight since Antonio Lowery totaled 19 tackles in 2010 against Army.
Senior DT Justin Francis (Opa-Locka, Fla.) set a career-high with 11 tackles and tied career-bests with four tackles-for-loss and two sacks.