MIAMI , FL -- The 13th-ranked Hurricanes remained alive in their bid for another Big East crown, scoring four touchdowns in an 11-minute span of the third quarter en route to a 34-10 victory over the Scarlet Knights.
Miami (9-2, 5-1 Big East) began the day tied atop the conference with Pittsburgh and West Virginia. Thanks to a win over the Mountaineers last month, it can wrap up its fourth straight Big East title with a victory next Saturday in Pittsburgh.
The Hurricanes blocked a pair of of punts and returned one of three interceptions for a touchdown in improving to 11-0 against Rutgers.
"We moved the ball better than we had on them," said Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano, whose team totaled 343 yards to 313 for Miami. "Their last four games, they have played lights out, playing as well as anyone all year. We're not horrible, but we're not great either."
Looking uninspired following consecutive losses earlier this month, Miami struggled to a 6-3 halftime lead. It was similar to last year's meeting, when Rutgers led, 17-14, after three quarters, only to lose, 42-17.
For the second straight season, the Hurricanes put away the Knights with a 28-point quarter. Darrell McClover sparked the outburst with a blocked punt and Kevin Everett followed with a 17-yard TD catch 3:57 into the second half to make it 13-3.
Jarrett Payton added an 18-yard scoring run midway through the quarter and Sean Taylor returned an interception 44 yards for a TD to increase the lead to 27-3 with 3:56 left. Everett had a five-yard scoring catch with nine seconds to go in the third.
"It seemed like old times today with some quick strikes," Miami coach Larry Coker said.
"They ran us out of the stadium," Schiano said. "Two blocked punts and an interception - bang, bang. We've got to learn from this."
A backup behind star tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., Everett caught only two passes - both for touchdowns. Winslow had two receptions for 15 yards.
A week after being benched, Berlin completed 6-of-14 passes for 86 yards. Derek Crudup came in briefly and was 1-of-3 for seven yards.
Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart broke the school's single-season passing record, reaching 2,589 with one game remaining.
Rutgers 0 3 0 7-10 Miami 3 3 28 0-34 First Quarter Mia-FG Peattie 25, 8:50. Second Quarter Mia-FG Peattie 41, 13:27. Rut-FG Sands 30, 0:03. Third Quarter Mia-Everett 17 pass from Berlin (Peattie kick), 11:03. Mia-Payton 18 run (Peattie kick), 7:24. Mia-Taylor 44 interception return (Peattie kick), 3:56. Mia-Everett 5 pass from Berlin (Peattie kick), 0:09. Fourth Quarter Rut-Leonard 3 pass from Hart (Sands kick), 9:03. A-39,579. Rut Mia First downs 18 13 Rushes-yards 35-130 43-220 Passing Yards 213 93 Comp-Att-Int 24-46-3 7-17-0 Return Yards 13 90 Punts-Avg. 8-32 7-35 Fumbles-Lost 2-0 0-0 Penalties-Yards 9-44 7-53 Time of Possession 33:44 26:16 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING-Rutgers, Facyson 9-72, Leonard 17-52, Hohmann 1-35, Hart 8-(minus 29). Miami, Payton 13-82, Moss 13-53, Geathers 9-50, Parrish 1-14, Beard 1-14, Berlin 1-5, Crudup 4-4, team 1-(minus 2). PASSING-Rutgers, Hart 23-45-3-193, Radigan 1-1-0-20. Miami, Berlin 6-14-0-86. Crudup 1-3-0-7. RECEIVING-Rutgers, Leonard 8-54, Tucker 6-57, Moses 4-34, Daniels 3-41, Foster 1-17, Harris 1-8, Facyson 1-2. Miami, Everett 2-22, Winslow 2-15, Moore 1-44, Geathers 1-6, Cobia 1-6.