CINCINNATI (Nov. 17, 2012) – With the help of a career-high 179 yards on a school-record tying 41 carries from sophomore RB Savon Huggins (Jackson, N.J.) in his first career start, Rutgers picked up a 10-3 win over BIG EAST foe Cincinnati in Nippert Stadium on Saturday. The win marked the first time the Scarlet Knights (9-1, 5-0) defeated the Bearcats (7-3, 3-2) on the road since 1987 and gave RU a 9-8-1 advantage in the series.
With a 9-1 overall record, Rutgers secured nine wins for the third time in four seasons and is off to its best start since the 2006 squad held the same mark through 10 games. The Scarlet Knights advanced to 5-0 in conference play for the first time in school history.
Senior WR Mark Harrison (Stratford, Conn.) had a team-high 106 yards on four catches, while classmate LB Khaseem Greene (Elizabeth, N.J.) led the squad with 11 tackles including 3.5 for a loss. Sophomore QB Gary Nova (Elmwood Park, N.J.) threw for 186 yards and a touchdown.
After both teams traded possessions for most of the first half, Rutgers gained momentum with 8:30 remaining in the second period as junior CB Logan Ryan (Berlin, N.J.) intercepted Kay at Rutgers’ own three yard-line for his team-best fourth pick of the season.
The Scarlet Knights would capitalize on the turnover. Huggins gained 19 yards on three carries on the drive, eclipsing his previous career-high in carries and yards. The rushing attack helped set up the pass as Nova connected with Harrison a 71-yard scoring strike down the middle of the field. The score capped a five-play, 97-yarddrive, leaving 6:13 remaining in the half to give Rutgers the first points of the contest.
It marked Harrison’s longest reception of his career and moved him into a tie for second place on Rutgers’ all-time touchdown receptions list with 17.
RU had a red zone opportunity as the clock wound down in the opening half before turning the ball over. The Scarlet Knights held a 7-0 lead heading into the locker room.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Cincinnati drove within the RU 10-yard line before the Scarlet Knights defense came up big as Greene stuffed Bearcats running back George Winn on a fourth-and-one play.
The defense came up big again on Cincinnati’s second drive of the half, as senior LB Steve Beauharnais (Saddle Brook, N.J.) recorded his first interception of the season, picking off Bearcats quarterback Brendon Kay to give the Scarlet Knights the ball at the UC 44-yard line with 7:38 left in the period. Huggins would surpass 100 yards on the ensuing possession before Cincinnati would take over after Rutgers again moved into the red zone and came up short.
After holding the Bearcats again, the Scarlet Knights put together their longest drive of the day, going on a 12-play, 62-yard drive that knocked 6:49 off the clock and concluded with a 42-yard field goal from redshirt freshman K Nick Borgese (Hamburg, N.Y.) with 7:49 remaining. Rutgers would win 10-3 after a late field goal by Cincinnati kicker Tony Miliano.
Neither team could get on the board in the first quarter, each getting two full possessions. Rutgers had the first opportunity, going 64 yards to the red zone, but turned the ball over. Cincinnati took over and went 63 yards to make it inside the Scarlet Knights’ 20-yard line before Miliano missed a 34-yard field goal wide-right with 7:17 remaining in the first quarter.
The Scarlet Knights next travel to Pittsburgh for a matchup with the Panthers in Heinz Field on Saturday, Nov. 24. The game is scheduled to start at noon.
• No. 22 Rutgers (9-1, 5-0 BIG EAST) defeated Cincinnati 10-3 Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium. It was RU’s first win at Cincinnati since 1987 (10-7 win) and just the second in school history (2-6-1) at UC. RU is now 9-8-1 all-time vs. the Bearcats.
• With the win, Rutgers improved to 9-1, the school’s best start after 10 games since 2006 (9-1).
• Rutgers held the BIG EAST’s highest scoring team to just three points, UC’s lowest output of the season. Cincinnati previously averaged 34.2 points per game in 2012 and averaged 226.8 rushing yards per game. The Bearcats were held to 90 yards rushing on 28 attempts.
• Rutgers ran for 234 yards on the ground, a season-high. RU is 44-16 since 2000 when rushing for 150 yards or more in a game.
• Rutgers moved to 5-25 in BIG EAST road games in November. It was the first BIG EAST road win in November since 2009 at Louisville.
• Rutgers secured a nine-win season for the third time in four seasons. It was the eighth nine-win season in RU history.
• Head coach Kyle Flood became the only first-year coach in school history to win nine games “On the Banks” in his first season at RU.
• Rutgers moved to 5-0 for the first time in school history in conference play and tied the school record for BIG EAST single-season victories (5).
• Rutgers tied a single-season school record with its fifth road win of the year. RU also won five road games in 1979, 1976, 1961 and 1960.
• Senior WR Mark Harrison (Stratford, Conn.) recorded his 17th career receiving touchdown on a career-long 71-yard reception in the first half. Harrison is now tied for second in RU history with Kenny Britt (2006-08) and Chris Brantley (1990-93) with 17 career receiving touchdowns.
• Mark Harrison has lit up Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium in his two career appearances in the Queen City. Harrison has 14 receptions for 346 receiving yards and five touchdowns in the two games.
• Rutgers totaled a season-high 285 yards of total offense in the first half.
• Sophomore RB Savon Huggins (Jackson, N.J.) finished with career-highs in rushing attempts (41) and rushing yards (179). Huggins set the career-highs by halftime with 20 carries for 85 yards in the first half.
• Sophomore RB Savon Huggins (Jackson, N.J.) 41 carries ties a school record set by teammate Jawan Jamison (Starke, Fla.) on Sept. 13 at USF.
• Senior LB Khaseem Greene (Elizabeth, N.J.) moved into sixth on the school’s career tackles list with 358. He surpassed Aaron Brady (1995-98), who had 354. Greene ended with 11 tackles, 3.5 TFLs and two sacks on the afternoon.
• Redshirt freshman K Nick Borgese (Hamburg, N.Y.) tied a career-long with a 42-yard field goal to push the lead to 10-0 in the fourth quarter.
• Sophomore WR Brandon Coleman (Accokeek, Md.) hauled in a 41-yard reception in the first quarter, his third reception over 40 yards this season and the sixth over 30. His season-long reception is 43 yards, which he has done twice.