PISCATAWAY, N.J. (September 24, 2011) – Junior WR Mohamed Sanu (South Brunswick, N.J.) put up career numbers in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns to help propel Rutgers football to a 38-26 win against Ohio (3-1) on Saturday afternoon at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Sanu hauled in 16 catches for 176 yards with two touchdowns – all career bests – as the Scarlet Knights improved to 2-1 on the season. The 16 receptions set a BIG EAST and Rutgers record for catches in the game. He also became the first Scarlet Knight since 2004 to record 10-plus receptions in two consecutive games.
Sophomore OB Chas Dodd (Lyman, S.C.) went 21-of-32 for 232 yards with three touchdowns, while redshirt freshman RB Jawan Jamison carried 29 times for 97 yards to help lead the Rutgers offense.
The Scarlet Knights got on the board first with 6:29 left in the first quarter on a six-yard passing touchdown from Dodd to Sanu. The score was setup after junior LB Ka’Lial Glaud (Atco, N.J.) recovered an Ohio fumble on the Rutgers 29 yard line. Jamison recorded a 22-yard run on the drive to lead to the RU score.
Ohio tied the game at 7-7 following an interception as Tyler Tettleton completed a 10-yard TD pass to LaVon Brazill.
Rutgers took the lead back with 9:13 left in the second quarter on a three-yard touchdown run from freshman Savon Huggins (Jackson, N.J.) – his third score of the season. The rush capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive that took 5:33.
Ohio drove down the field in response, but Steve Beauharnais (Saddle Brook, N.J.) sniffed out the option play from the Bobcats, forcing and recovering a fumble to give the Scarlet Knights possession once again.
After the Scarlet Knights were forced to punt on the next drive, junior Wayne Warren (Salisbury, Md.) caused a fumble on the return that was scooped up by Glaud and returned to the three yard line. The ball became loose again, but junior DB Marcus Cooper (Bloomfield, Conn.) was right there to pick up the ball and bring it in for a touchdown to give the Scarlet Knights a 21-7 lead. It was the 48th non-offensive touchdown in the Greg Schiano era and first career TD for Cooper.
Ohio kicked a 42-yard field at the end of the second quarter to set the halftime score at 21-10 in favor of Rutgers.
The Bobcats scored a touchdown on the first possession following the break to make it 21-17, but it was Sanu again for Rutgers who helped push the Scarlet Knights to an 11-point lead, 28-17. His second score of the day was a four-yard catch from Dodd. Sanu also had a 32-yard reception on a third down to extend the drive.
The Bobcats answered back with a 34-yard field goal from Matt Weller to close it to an eight-point gap at 28-20. Rutgers opened the fourth quarter, adding to its lead as senior PK San San Te (Conover, N.C.) kicked a 44-yard field goal to give RU a 31-20 edge.
The Rutgers scoring didn’t end there as connected on his third touchdown pass of the game, this time to sophomore TE Paul Carrezola (Langhorne, Pa.). The 11-yard pitch and catch put the Scarlet Knights ahead 38-20.
Ohio scored a late touchdown with 1:39 left to play but a failed two-point conversion attempt held the score at 38-20 with the Scarlet Knights running out the clock on three straight carries from Jamison.
Rutgers will travel north to face Syracuse in its BIG EAST opener on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Noon. The game will be broadcasted live on SNY.
POST GAME NOTES
Rutgers moved to 2-1 on the season with a 38-26 victory over previously unbeaten Ohio (3-1) Saturday at High Point Solutions Stadium. The Scarlet Knights are now 2-1 all-time versus the Bobcats.
Game captains for the Scarlet Knights were senior FS David Rowe, senior OL Caleb Ruch, senior WR Jawann Westerman and senior DE Manny Abreu.
The Rutgers coaching staff wore Coach to Cure MD patches today to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.
Rutgers moved to 29-18-1 all-time vs. MAC opponents, including an 8-1 mark under head coach Greg Schiano.
The Scarlet Knights established season-highs in rushing yards (159), passing yards (251) and total offense (410) against the nation’s 20th-ranked defense. Ohio entered the game allowing just 247.7 yards of total offense per game.
Rutgers was 11-of-18 (61.1%) on third downs against the nation’s number one defense on third down conversions. Coming into the game, Ohio limited the opposition to just 9-of-27 conversions on third downs.
For the 48th time under Greg Schiano, Rutgers scored a non-offensive touchdown in the win over Ohio. Marcus Cooper recovered a fumble for a two-yard touchdown after Wayne Warren forced a fumble on a punt return, which was then returned by Ka’Lial Glaud to the two-yard line before he fumbled, which Cooper than returned two yards for a touchdown.
Junior WR Mohamed Sanu set a new BIG EAST and school record with 16 receptions in the victory over Ohio. Sanu ended the day with career-highs in receptions (16), receiving yards (176) and receiving touchdowns (2).
The 16 receptions by Sanu are the most by a player in a single-game nationally in 2011, trailing only Southern California’s Robert Woods. Woods caught 17 passes for 177 yards and three touchdowns vs. Minnesota on Sept. 3.
Sanu became the first Scarlet Knight since Tres Moses in 2004 to record 10-plus receptions in two consecutive games. Sanu, who tied a school-record with 13 receptions at North Carolina, has 29 receptions in two games, the most by any player in Rutgers’ history.
Moses had 10 receptions for 109 yards at Syracuse (10/2/04) and 11 catches for 147 yards at Vanderbilt (10/9/04).
The 176 yards receiving for Sanu placed him tied for 11th in single-game history at Rutgers with current NFL standout Kenny Britt. Britt also caught six passes for 176 yards in 2007 vs. Syracuse.
The 176 yards receiving for Sanu marked the fifth time he eclipsed 100 yards receiving in a game.
Three players earned their first career starts for the Scarlet Knights. True freshman RT Kaleb Johnson, redshirt freshman RG Betim Bujari and true freshman RB Savon Huggins made their starting debuts.
Redshirt freshman RB Jawan Jamison produced career-highs in rushing attempts (29), rushing yards (97) and receiving yards (22). It was the most carries by a Scarlet Knight since Jeremy Deering totaled 29 rushing attempts for 166 yards and a touchdown last season vs. Syracuse.
Senior FS David Rowe finished with a career-high 10 tackles. His previous game-high for tackles was seven.
POST GAME QUOTES
Head Coach Greg Schiano
Opening Statement: “It was good to get a victory out there. I thought our kids – through whatever hurdles they faced today – kept fighting back individually and collectively. That was a good thing. We have a lot to learn – we left a lot of offense, defense and special teams on the table, but that is a good football team. As I told you at the beginning of the week, I really believed they were a good football team and they are. I am proud of our guys’ performance and am proud on how they approached the two weeks. It is tough coming off of a loss and a bye. Now we are going nine straight [weeks]. I will open it up for questions.”
On Mohamed Sanu’s performance: “It was pretty spectacular. He had 16 completions with over 170 yards. He just continues to impress. As you guys know about Mo, the best thing about Mo is the guy that he is. On top of being a great football player is the person he is. He is someone that says a lot for our program and represents, hopefully, what we are all about.”
On whether team can count on producing turnovers and the wide receivers: “We play an attacking style on special teams and on defense so I hope we can create takeaways. I think we have really great wide receivers that we can get involved – it is not by choice that we are not. In the first three games we have left some offense on the field. We have dropped some passes and other things. When those things start registering – today we threw a couple deep balls a little bit outside – those things can be quick scores. Those are the kind of things that help open up games.”
On what makes Sanu a hard player to cover: “His athleticism. [Sanu] has such great body control and I think Frank [Cignetti] and the staff do a great job of moving him around. On the move, it is really hard for a stationary or even moving defensive back or linebacker to match up with him. He is so strong once he catches it, breaking tackles.”
On playing Jawan Jamison and his performance: “All along we have said and I have said that he’s got really great vision and really great feet. He came back out of shape and had to work himself into shape. We are talking about four weeks of training camp and then another three weeks here. I think we have a good combination right now. [Jamison] was hot today so we kept feeding him the ball. I think Savon [Huggins] is going to keep getting better and better. I think he was a bit jacked up today, playing in his first kind of real debut if you would say that. He just needs to slow it down. I think Jeremy [Deering] has his things as well. I think it will be a good mix but I thought Juwan ran it really well today. There were a couple plays that were negative plays that he made a guy miss in the backfield. Those are the plays that don’t get a lot of notoriety but they are key.”
On Chas Dodd’s performance: “Competitor, just a fighter. The play that rings most in my mind was when he had to throw it hot when we didn’t have a guy to block off the edge. He stood in there and threw the ball and he knew he was going to get walloped. He is a competitor.”
On new players on the offensive line: “I don’t know how they performed – I have to look at the video. We practiced that way and we were getting other guys reps as the week when on. I thought we saw a lot of good things, but also some mistakes. We saw enough good things – the explosion and power that they bring – that we can live with a few mistakes until we can limit them.”
On going after Ohio cornerbacks: “I think Mohamed [Sanu] that we have a lot of faith no matter who is covering him. I don’t think it is a directive effort. We are going to go to him. We have some really good receivers that we need to get cooking it, making it much more hard to defend.”
On Ohio: “I was thinking about [the Ohio quarterback] as more of a running threat because that is what they are. But he is a good passer and number seven is a really good receiver. He could play anywhere in the country. We had our troubles today and compound that with them making some incredible catches. Usually you don’t win a game with as many big plays that we gave up. We have a lot of work to do, but I just got done telling the team that I like learning and teaching from the win column more than the ‘L’ column.”
On leading in time of possession: “Points are our main goal. We want to score points. Sometimes you can do it by running the ball effectively and you get time of possession. When you can’t run the ball, you usually don’t’ get any time of possession. [Ohio] is a no-huddle team that went three and out several times in the first half, so that’s what happened. It wasn’t like that in the second half.”
On turning over the ball: “Any time we put the ball on the ground I am very disappointed. Interceptions I don’t like but I can live with because I don’t want our quarterback to be afraid of sticking it in there. Fumbles we can’t live with. But, having said all that, [Savon Huggins] will get it corrected, no doubt. He will rebound from this.”
On third down conversions: “I thought it was great on offense. We have had a conversation like that in a while. Defensively, I am not as excited – Ohio was 50 percent. Net, we won the battle but we are usually pretty good on third down as we had sacks and plays we didn’t make them. We were just a little bit off on defense today. They played their guts out, but we were just a little bit off. I think a lot of that had to do with them being on. They are a good offensive football team.”
On areas to improve going forward: “We are there and don’t make a play. As I keep saying, he was a good, mobile quarterback - a good athlete. Talking to Coach Solich, he is just a football guy who loves the game a lot like [Chas] Dodd. He is a little bit faster than [Chas Dodd] and a better runner.”
On Sanu returning punts: “[Sanu] is our most sure-handed guy right now. We will see if that continues. [J.T. Tartacoff] is coming off an injury and he is very sure-handed. Quron Pratt can do it – we have some guys that can do it.”
On injuries: “I don’t know yet I don’t think there is anything big, but I wouldn’t know that until later on.”
On Mark Harrison: “Mark [Harrison] has been trying to make plays instead of executing. That is what we talked about. He is going to be fine. I had no idea Frank [Cignetti] was going back to him. I am sure Frank thought that he is a big part of our offense and wanted to get him the ball.”