PISCATAWAY, N.J. (October 15, 2011) – Rutgers overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to score a 21-20 win over Navy on Saturday in High Point Solutions Stadium. The victory was the fourth consecutive for the Scarlet Knights as they moved to 5-1 on the season.
The Scarlet Knights were paced in the win by standout efforts from freshman QB Gary Nova (Elmwood Park, N.J.) and redshirt freshman RB Jawan Jamison (Starke, Fla.). Nova threw for a career-high 271 yards and two touchdowns while Jamison notched his first career 100-yard rushing game with 101 yards and one touchdown on the ground. Junior WR Mohamed Sanu (South Brunswick, N.J.) snagged 10 catches for 100 yards for the sixth 100-yard receiving game of his Rutgers career.
Rutgers held Navy’s triple-option rushing attack to a season-low 162 yards rushing. Junior LB Khaseem Greene (Elizabeth, N.J.) and junior DT Scott Vallone (Central Islap, N.Y.) had career-high nights in tackles, recording 14 and 12, respectively.
Nova put Rutgers in the lead 21-17 with his second touchdown throw of the day after going through his progressions to find junior WR Tim Wright (Wall Township, N.J.) in the back of the end zone at 12:57 in the fourth quarter. The 20-yard toss capped an eight-play, 66-yard drive to see RU take its first lead since the second quarter.
The tight final period continued when Navy drew within one point with a 41-yard field goal from Jon Teague at the 7:52 mark. After a Navy interception, the Midshipmen squared up for a 34-yard field goal attempt that would put them in the lead. Rutgers had other plans, with junior CB Brandon Jones (Sicklerville, N.J.) diving to block the attempt by Teague and protect RU’s lead.
With the ball back in the hands of its offense, the Scarlet Knights sustained a nine-play, 57-yard drive to run the game clock down to the final 30 seconds. A blocked FG put the ball back in the hands of the Midshipmen, but junior LB Steve Beauharnais (Saddle Brooke, N.J.) sacked Navy QB Kriss Proctor for nine yards to end the game.
In first half action, a key pass completion from Nova and rushes by Jamison spurred the first score to make it 7-0 in favor of RU. Nova found Sanu for 15 yards on a third-and-10 play. Jamison shouldered the load for the rest of the drive, notching runs of 13 and 11 yards before dashing for one yard into the end zone at the 14:28 mark in the second quarter.
It was then Rutgers’ defense that rose to the occasion. After a methodical Navy offense drive, the Midshipmen faced a fourth-and-goal situation. Navy opted for a fake to a run for Proctor and Rutgers’ surging defensive line knocked the play off track before RU’s Beauharnais finished the tackle to end the threat.
The Midshipmen evened the score at 7-7 when a tipped RU pass from Nova was returned to the end zone by Navy defender Chris Ferguson with 8:35 remaining in the second quarter. Navy then snuck out to a 14-7 lead on a 54-yard rush by Proctor with 4:00 left in the second quarter that lasted into the halftime break.
Navy added a 31-yard field goal from Teague at the 10:28 mark in the third quarter to push its lead to 17-7.
The RU defense put the ball back in the hands of its offense when senior DB Patrick Kivlehan (West Nyack, N.Y.) grabbed a deflected ball at the 6:32 mark for his first career interception. Rutgers responded with a score with 3:07 left in the third quarter when Nova connected to sophomore Quron Pratt (Palmyra, N.J.) from 10 yards out for the wide receiver’s first career TD reception to set the score at 17-14 in favor of Navy.
Rutgers football continues on the road at Louisville Friday, Oct. 21. The game is set to kickoff at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
POST GAME NOTES
• Rutgers moved to 5-1 on the season with a 21-20 victory over Navy (2-4) on Homecoming Saturday afternoon at High Point Solutions Stadium. The Scarlet Knights have won four consecutive games, their longest winning streak since capturing four straight victories in 2009.
• Game captains for Rutgers were junior WR Mark Harrison (Stratford, Conn.), junior DB Wayne Warren (Salisbury, Md.), junior SS Duron Harmon (Magnolia, Del.) and junior TE Beau Bachety (Babylon, N.Y.).
• Rutgers is now 12-11-1 all-time vs. Navy, including a 6-2 under head coach Greg Schiano. The Scarlet Knights are 7-2 at home vs. the Midshipmen.
• Navy entered the game with the nation’s top-ranked rushing offense, averaging 366 yards per game. For the fifth straight game against RU, Navy was held below its season rushing average as the Scarlet Knights held the Mids to their lowest rushing output of the season (162 rushing yards). Prior to today’s game, Navy’s lowest rushing output in a game was 274 yards at No. 10 South Carolina in 2011.
• Navy entered the game averaging 34 points per game on offense and 463 yards of total offense per contest. Rutgers limited the Mids to a season-low 305 yards of total offense and their fewest points of the year (20).
• For the first time since 2009, Rutgers had a player go over the century mark rushing and over 100 yards receiving in the same game. Redshirt freshman RB Jawan Jamison (Starke, Fla.) rushed for a career-high 101 yards on the ground while junior WR Mohamed Sanu (South Brunswick, N.J.) finished with 100 yards receiving. The last time two Scarlet Knights had 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game was at Louisville (11/27/09) as Sanu rushed for 148 yards and Tim Brown totaled 124 receiving yards.
• Rutgers set a season-high with 423 yards of total offense against Navy. The Scarlet Knights averaged 4.2 yards per attempt on the ground (152 rushing yards) and threw for 271 yards.
• Rutgers, second nationally with 4.0 sacks per game, finished with four sacks against the Mids. Navy came into the game today with just three sacks allowed the entire season.
• The Scarlet Knights entered the game today tied for first nationally in turnovers gained with 22. They added to their season totals with two interceptions on the day to increase their season total to 14, which would tie them with Vanderbilt for the national lead in that category.
• Mohamed Sanu finished with10 receptions for 100 yards. Sanu is now sixth in Rutgers history with 150 career receptions and is tied for fifth in school history with six 100-yard receiving games.
• Jawan Jamison became the first Scarlet Knight in 2011 to go over the 100-yard rushing mark in a game with a career-best 101 yards and his first career touchdown against Navy. The last RU running back to post a 100-yard rushing game was Jordan Thomas in 2010 vs. Louisville (120 rushing yards).
• Junior LB Khaseem Greene, the BIG EAST leader in tackles per game, posted a career-high 14 stops vs. Navy. He has at least 11 tackles in each of his last three games. His previous game-high in tackles was 13 at North Carolina earlier this season.
• Junior NT Scott Vallone (Central Islip, N.Y.) set a new career-high with 12 tackles. His previous career-best was 11 stops in 2009 vs. West Virginia.
• True freshman QB Gary Nova (Elmwood Park, N.J.) established personal-bests in passing attempts (31), completions (23), passing yards (271) and equaled a career-high with two passing touchdowns. The 271 yards passing were the most by a RU quarterback this season. He also threw the first two interceptions of his career.
• Sophomore WR Quron Pratt (Palmyra, N.J.) scored his first career touchdown on a 10-yard pass in the third quarter to cut the Navy lead to 17-14.
• Senior defensive end Manny Abreu (Union City, N.J.) set a season-high in tackles (nine) and posted a new career-best with two sacks in the win over Navy.
• Junior CB Brandon Jones (Sicklerville, N.J.) blocked Navy’s attempted go-ahead field goal attempt with 4:43 remaining in the game to preserve the one-point victory. Jones also contributed his second career interception in the win. The blocked kick was the first of Jones’ career.