FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Sept. 22, 2012) – A career night for QB Gary Nova (Elmwood Park, N.J.) and the fourth-straight 100-yard rushing game of the season for RB Jawan Jamison (Starke, Fla.) powered the Rutgers football team to a 35-26 victory over Arkansas on Saturday in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The RU signal caller set career bests in completions, yards and touchdowns, connecting on 25-of-35 passes for 397 yards and five scores. Jamison rushed for 118 yards on 33 carries to top the century mark for the fifth consecutive game dating back to last season.
With the win, the Scarlet Knights improved to 4-0 overall for the first time since 2006 and just the second time since joining the BIG EAST in 1991. The victory marked RU’s second straight win over a Southeastern Conference opponent, with Rutgers scoring a come-from-behind 37-34 win at Vanderbilt in 2004.
Arkansas jumped out to a short-lived 10-0 lead in the first quarter with a 37-yard field goal from kicker Zach Hocker at the 12:19 mark and a 57-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Wilson to wide receiver Cobi Hamilton with 20 seconds on the clock.
The Scarlet Knights struck back with two straight touchdowns in the second quarter, first with a 10-yard touchdown toss from Nova to Jamison who sprinted out of the backfield on a flair route. The scoring throw at 9:34 in the second quarter brought the score to 10-7, Arkansas.
Nova threw to the end zone again with 1:30 remaining in the half, finding WR Brandon Coleman (Accokeek, Md.) from 19 yards out to give the Scarlet Knights a 14-10 lead and an advantage they would not relinquish.
To start the second half, the Nova-Coleman connection put another Scarlet Knight touchdown on the scoreboard for a 21-10 lead. The RU receiver took a Nova swing pass 38 yards to the end zone with 10:33 on the clock in the third quarter for his second scoring play.
Hocker scored his second field goal of the night to give Arkansas its first second half points, making a successful 27-yard attempt to set the score at 21-13 to Rutgers.
Nova swung right back with Rutgers’ passing attack, nailing TE Paul Carrezola (Langhorne, Pa.) from two yards out to give the Scarlet Knights a 28-13 advantage with 2:24 left in the third quarter. The scoring opportunity was set up by a 45-yard completion to WR Quron Pratt (Palmyra, N.J.) to Arkansas’ 19 yard line.
RU’s defense then snuffed out a deep Razorback drive with CB Logan Ryan (Berlin, N.J.) intercepting Wilson in the end zone for a touchback with 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Arkansas eventually found the end zone on its next two drives in the fourth quarter, with Wilson connecting with Hamilton on a 10-yard touchdown throw at 12:36 to draw closer, 28-20. Wilson hit Hamilton again for an 80-yard score with 8:19 remaining, but failed a two-point conversion attempt to set the score at 28-26 to Rutgers.
Nova fired back for the Scarlet Knights, lofting a pass to WR Mark Harrison (Stratford, Conn.), who took the catch 60 yards to the end zone at the 7:20 mark, advancing RU’s lead to 35-26 and setting the final score. DB Duron Harmon (Magnolia, Del.) ended the Razorbacks’ last chance for points with his first interception of the season with 3:29 left in the game.
• Rutgers defeated Arkansas 35-26 Saturday night in Fayetteville to improve the Scarlet Knights to 4-0 on the season. RU is 4-0 for the first time since 2006 and just the third time overall since 1980.
• Rutgers is now 4-0 for just the 12th time in 143 seasons of college football.
• Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood became the first RU head coach since John Bateman in 1960 to start his coaching career “On the Banks” 4-0. He is the third coach in school history to start his coaching career at RU 4-0.
• The Scarlet Knights have won consecutive games on the road in the SEC and are 6-11-2 all-time vs. SEC competition.
• Sophomore quarterback Gary Nova (Elmwood Park, N.J.) finished with the third-highest single-game passing total in school history – 397 yards – in the victory.
• Nova established career-highs in passing yards (397), passing touchdowns (5) and completions (25).
RutgersSingle-Game Passing Yards Leaders
- Mike Teel (447 vs. Louisville, 12/4/08)
- Scott Erney (436 vs. Vanderbilt, 9/17/88)
- Gary Nova at Arkansas, 9/22/12)
• Nova’s five touchdown passes tie for the third-best single-game performance in school history. He is tied with Mike McMahon (2000 vs. Villanova) and Rich Policastro (1969 vs. Colgate) with five touchdown passes in a single-game. Mike Teel holds the school record with seven touchdown passes in 2008 vs. Louisville.
• Senior linebacker Khaseem Greene (Elizabeth, N.J.) finished with seven tackles to move into 10th place in RU history with 292 career tackles. He moved past Elvin Washington (1974-77) into 10th place, past Washington’s 290 career tackles.
• Sophomore running back Jawan Jamison rushed for 118 yards – the fifth straight game he has topped the century mark. The last RU player to rush for 100 yards in five straight games was Ray Rice in 2007 with eight straight 100-yard performances.
• Jamison’s streak of five straight 100-yard games is tied for the fourth-best streak in RU history. He joins Jackie Crooks (1998-99), Bryant Mitchell (1968) and Curt Edwards (1975) for fourth in school history.
• Jamison has rushed for 100 yards in each of the season’s first four games – the longest streak for a RU player since Ray Rice started 2006 with five consecutive 100-yard games. He also caught the firsttouchdown pass of his career.
• Senior wide receiver Mark Harrison is now seventh in school history in career receiving touchdowns (14) after his 60-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter gave RU a 35-26 lead.
• Sophomore wide receiver Brandon Coleman (Accokeek, Md.) finished with six receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns. He now leads the BIG EAST with five receiving TDs and has 11 career receiving scores in 17 career games.
• Rutgers had a 300-yard passer and 100-yard rusher in the same game for the first time since December 4, 2008 vs. Louisville. Mike Teel threw for 447 yards vs. the Cardinals while Jourdan Brooks rushed for 124 yards.