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Scarlet Knights Game Preview - 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl
  • Posted on December 23, 2012 11:38:27 PM
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  • Bowl Week - Day Five
    RU fans gathered for a pep rally Thursday afternoon in Orlando.

    2012 Russell Athletic Bowl
    RUTGERS (9-3, 5-2BIG EAST) vs. VIRGINIA TECH (6-6, 4-4 ACC)

    Friday, December 28 • 5:30 p.m. • ESPN
    Florida Citrus Bowl
    Orlando, Fla.

    Radio: Rutgers Radio Network
    (710-WOR; 1450-WCTC; 610-WIP)
    Live Stats: ScarletKnights.com

    Series: Virginia Tech leads 11-3

    The Game
    • Rutgers, the 2012 BIG EAST Co-Champions, has officially accepted a bid to play Virginia Tech in the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Fla. Kickoff is set between the Scarlet Knights and Hokies on Friday, December 28 at 5:30 p.m. from the Florida Citrus Bowl.
    • Rutgers (9-3, 5-2 BIG EAST), which has won five consecutive bowls, is making its eighth bowl appearance in school history. The Scarlet Knights are 5-2 all-time in bowl games and will be playing in their seventh bowl in the last eight years. The Scarlet Knights own the nation’s longest active bowl winning streak at five along with Mississippi State.
    • ESPN will televise the Russell Athletic Bowl while ESPN Radio has the national radio broadcast rights to the bowl. The Rutgers Radio Network begins pre-game coverage of the Russell Athletic Bowl at 4:30 p.m.

    Series Information
    • Rutgers and Virginia Tech (6-6, 4-4 ACC) meet for the 15th time in series history in Orlando. The one-time BIG EAST rivals played 12 times as conference members from 1992-2003 with Virginia Tech going 11-1. • The lone win in BIG EAST play for Rutgers came in 1992 – a thrilling 50-49 victory that still ranks as one of the most memorable games in school history. Rutgers won the first three games of the series (1920, 1953, 1992), but Virginia Tech has won 11 straight.

    With a Victory ...
    • Extend the nation’s longest active bowl winning streak to six games.
    • Secure a 10-win season for the third time in 143 years of football at Rutgers. RU also won double-digit wins in a season in 2006 (11-2) and 1976 (11-0).
    • Kyle Flood would become the only first-year coach in school history to win 10 games “On the Banks” in his first season at RU.

    Bowl-Bound for Seventh Time in Eight Years
    Rutgers became bowl-eligible for the seventh time in eight years with its 23-15 victory over Syracuse on October 13. The Scarlet Knights have been to six bowls over the previous seven seasons, including five straight wins in post-season play.
    The Scarlet Knights are making their first appearance in the Russell Athletic Bowl and will play in a bowl game in Florida for the second time.
    Rutgers is 5-2 all-time in bowl games, including five consecutive bowl wins.

    Rutgers’ Bowl History
    2011 New Era Pinstripe Bowl (Bronx, N.Y.)
    Rutgers 27, Iowa State 13 Dec. 30, 2011
    2009 St. Petersburg Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
    Rutgers 45, UCF 24 Dec. 19, 2009
    2008 PapaJohns.com Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.)
    Rutgers 29, NC State 23 Dec. 29, 2008
    2008 International Bowl (Toronto, Ontario)
    Rutgers 52, Ball State 30 Jan. 5, 2008
    2006 Texas Bowl (Houston, Texas)
    Rutgers 37, Kansas State 10 Dec. 28, 2006
    2005 Insight Bowl (Phoenix, Ariz.)
    Arizona State 45, Rutgers 40 Dec. 27, 2005
    1978 Garden State Bowl (East Rutherford, N.J.)
    Arizona State 34, Rutgers 18 Dec. 6, 1978

    Nation’s Longest Active Bowl Winning Streak
    Rutgers and Mississippi State own the nation’s longest active bowl winning streak at five games. Rutgers has won five straight bowls - beginning with the 2006 Texas Bowl.

    Up Next: Virginia Tech
    The Virginia Tech football team secured its 20th-straight bowl appearance in its final regular season game, winning 17-14 over fellow Atlantic Coast Conference team Virginia to improve to 6-6 overall. In his 26th-year leading the Hokies, head coach Frank Beamer has posted a 215-104-2 record. Tech additionally recorded victories over Georgia Tech (20-17, OT), Austin Peay (42-7), Bowling Green (37-0), Duke (41-20) and Boston College (30-23, OT) to reach postseason eligibility.
    The Hokies take the field with a dynamic offensive attack on the arm and legs of junior QB Logan Thomas. The VT signal caller leads the squad in both passing and rushing, throwing for 2,783 yards, 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2012. Thomas has gained 528 yards on the ground with nine rushing scores. He ranks 35th in the nation in total offense, averaging 275.9 yards per game.
    The VT offensive unit ranks 72nd in the NCAA in total offense, compiling 391.8 yards per game. The Hokies score 26.1 points per game to rank No. 78 in the nation.
    Virginia Tech ranks 24th nationally in total defense, allowing 344.6 yards per game. The Hokies rank first in the ACC in tackles-for-loss (14th in nation), averaging 7.3 per game. VT ranks second in its league in both passing defense (204.9 yard per game) and passing efficiency defense (113.54). Tech’s defense is led by junior LB Jack Tyler, who averages 9.3 tackles per game (112 total in 2012).

    Conference Championship in Three Centuries
    Rutgers captured a share of its first BIG EAST Championship after finishing the season 9-3 overall and 5-2 in the conference. It also gave RU conference championships in three different centuries (1894 Middle States Football League Champions; 1958, 1960, 1961 University Division Champion of the Middle Atlantic Conference and 2012 BIG EAST).

    RU vs. the ACC
    Rutgers is 1-0 all-time vs. ACC opponents in a bowl game following RU’s 29-23 victory over NC State in the 2008 PapaJohns.com Bowl.
    All-time against current ACC schools, Rutgers is 21-58-1.
    With the bowl game vs. Virginia Tech, it marks the seventh consecutive season RU has played against an ACC foe. Since 2006, Rutgers is 3-3 against ACC competition.

    One of the All-Time Best in the BIG EAST
    Rutgers allowed 91 points in seven BIG EAST games this season, the eighth-lowest total allowed in league history.

    Points Allowed Team, Year
    51 Miami, 1994
    55 Miami, 2001
    57 Miami, 1993
    67 Miami, 2000
    83 Virginia Tech, 1995
    85 West Virginia, 2010
    88 Virginia Tech, 1999
    91 Rutgers, 2012
    91 West Virginia, 1993

    The Scarlet Curtain
    Rutgers ranks in the top 25 nationally in four major defensive statistical categories - scoring defense (4th, 14.3 ppg), total defense (14th, 321.3 ypg), pass efficiency defense (25th, 115.35) and rushing defense (11th, 105.0 ypg).
    Rutgers is also tied for fourth nationally with 18 touchdowns allowed and tied for the fourth fewest rushing touchdowns allowed.

    Fewest Touchdowns Allowed
    1. Notre Dame 10
    2. Florida 17
    3. Alabama 18
    4. Rutgers 19
    Michigan State 19

    Fewest Rushing Touchdowns Allowed
    1. Notre Dame 2
    2. BYU 5
    Michigan State 5
    4. Rutgers 6
    Utah State 6

    Defense Wins Championships
    Rutgers boasts the nation’s fourth-best scoring defense, allowing just 14.3 points per game. The combined record of the top four scoring defenses in college football is 44-5.

    Scoring Defense National Leaders
    1. Notre Dame 10.3
    2. Alabama 10.7
    3. Florida 12.9
    4. Rutgers 14.3

    Stopping the Run
    Since 1950, this season’s RU rushing defense is holding opponents to the fourth-lowest singlegame average in school history with just 105.0 yards per game.
    Only two RU teams have held opponents to less than 100 yards per game since 1950 - 1976 and 1964.

    Top Rushing Defenses Per Game in RU History
    Year (Yards) Average per game
    1. 1976 (923 yards) 83.9
    2. 1964 (757 yards) 84.1
    3. 2006 (1,313 yards) 101.0
    4. 2012 (1,260 yards) 105.0

    Defense Starts By Stopping the Run
    The top 13 rushing defenses in the nation have a combined record of 123-36. Only Connecticut has a top-13 national rushing defense and a losing record in 2012.
    Rutgers ranks second in the BIG EAST and 11th nationally allowing 105 yards per game on the ground.

    Fewest Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game
    1. Alabama 79.8
    2. BYU 84.3
    3. Stanford 87.7
    4. Nore Dame 92.4
    5. Florida State 93.0
    6. Florida 97.0
    7. Connecticut 97.9
    8. Michigan State 99.6
    9. LSU 101.8
    10. TCU 103.9
    11. Rutgers 105.0
    12. Utah State 111.4
    13. Ohio State 116.1

    Defensive Masterpiece in Cincinnati
    Rutgers allowed just three points in its road game at Cincinnati - the lowest point total RU has ever allowed to a BIG EAST opponent on the road.
    RU held Cincinnati to its 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.

    Low-Scoring Victory
    Rutgers scored 10 points in its win at Cincinnati - its lowest point total in a victory since 1998.
    RU defeated Richmond 7-6 in the 1998 season opener on Sept. 5

    First Time Under 200
    Rutgers held Temple to 191 yards of total offense Oct. 20 at Lincoln Financial Field - the first time in school history RU has allowed less than 200 yards in a BIG EAST road game.
    It was the seventh time in school history Rutgers has allowed less than 200 yards of total offense in a BIG EAST game.

    Fewest Yards Allowed in a BIG EAST Game
    1. 118 vs. Temple 10/2/93
    2. 146 vs. Cincinnati 11/25/05
    3. 159 vs. USF 11/5/09
    4. 168 vs. Syracuse 11/8/08
    5. 191 at Temple 10/20/12
    191 vs. Syracuse 11/25/06
    7. 198 vs. Syracuse 11/29/03

    Protecting the QB
    Rutgers is tied for fourth nationally with just eight sacks allowed in 2012. The Scarlet Knights ranked 83rd nationally with 30 sacks allowed in 13 games last season.

    Fewest Sacks Allowed
    1. North Texas 6
    Air Force 6
    3. Middle Tennessee State 7
    4. Rutgers 8
    Tennessee 8

    The 1,000-Yard Club
    Sophomore running back Jawan Jamison became the third RU player since 1976 to rush for 1,000 yards in a season in 2012. He is the seventh player at Rutgers to record a 1,000-yard season.
    Jamison is 10th in RU single-season history with 1,054 rushing yards.

    1,000-Yard Rushing Seasons at Rutgers
    1. Ray Rice (2007) 2,012
    2. Ray Rice (2006) 1,794
    3. “JJ” Jennings (1973) 1,353
    4. “JJ” Jennings (1972) 1,262
    5. Terrell Willis (1993) 1,261
    6. Bryant Mitchell (1968) 1,204
    7. Curt Edwards (1975) 1,157
    8. Ray Rice (2005) 1,120
    9. Terrell Willis (1994) 1,080
    10. Jawan Jamison (2012) 1,054

    Carrying the Lumber
    Jawan Jamison broke a school record that stood since 1972 with 41 rushing attempts in the 23-13 victory over USF on Sept. 13 in Tampa. Jamison rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown - and broke “JJ” Jennings’ school record for single-game rushing attempts.
    Savon Huggins equaled the school record with 41 rushes for 179 yards in the victory at Cincinnati November 17.

    Single-Game Rushing Attempts
    1. 41 Savon Huggins at Cincinnati 11/17/12
    41 Jawan Jamison at USF 9/13/12
    2. 40 “JJ” Jennings vs. Colgate 11/25/72
    3. 39 Ray Rice vs. USF 10/18/07
    3. 39 Ray Rice at Pittsburgh 10/21/06
    3. 39 “JJ” Jennings at Princeton 9/29/73
    3. 39 “JJ” Jennings at Columbia 10/28/72

    100 to Start the Season
    Jawan Jamison and Ray Rice are the only players in school history to rush for 100 yards in each of the first five games of the year. Rice opened 2006 with five consecutive 100-yard performances.

    Consecutive 100-Yard Games to Start the Season
    5 Ray Rice (2006)
    5 Jawan Jamison (2012)

    JJ and Ray
    Jawan Jamison became the first Rutgers running back since Ray Rice to post six straight 100-yard games after rushing for 110 yards against UConn. Rice ripped off eight consecutive 100-yard games to finish the 2007 season.
    Jamison is tied for seventh in RU history with nine career 100-yard games.

    Consecutive 100-Yard Games
    Jawan Jamison is fourth in school history and became just the third player in 143 years of football at Rutgers to rush for six consecutive 100-yard games.

    Consecutive 100-Yard Rushing Games
    1. Ray Rice (10/13/07-1/5/08) 8
    2. Ray Rice (12/28/05-9/29/06) 7
    “JJ” Jennings (11/25/72-11/7/73) 7
    4. Jawan Jamison (12/30/12 - 10/6/12) 6

    Super Nova
    Sophomore quarterback Gary Nova threw for the third-highest yardage total in Rutgers’ single-game history in the 35-26 win at Arkansas on Sept. 22.
    Nova set career-highs in passing yards (397), completions (25) and passing touchdowns (five) against the Hogs.
    For his efforts, he was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week and was named one of the Manning Award “Stars of the Week. The Davey O’Brien Award also cited Nova as an honorable mention national quarterback of the week.

    Single-Game Passing Yardage Leaders
    1. Mike Teel vs. Louisville (12/4/08) 447
    2. Scott Erney vs. Vanderbilt (9/17/88) 436
    3. Gary Nova at Arkansas (9/22/12) 397
    4. Mike McMahon at Army (10/18/97) 386
    5. Ryan Hart vs. Pittsburgh (10/18/03) 384

    Single-Game Passing Touchdown Leaders
    1. Mike Teel vs. Louisville (12/4/08) 7
    2. Mike Teel at Pittsburgh (10/25/08) 6
    3. Gary Nova at Arkansas (9/22/12) 5
    Mike McMahon vs. Villanova (9/2/00) 5
    Rich Policastro vs. Colgate (11/22/69) 5

    Nova Just Continues to Win
    Gary Nova is 33-3 as a starting quarterback when entering the season as the starter under center. Overall, he is 36-5 as his team’s starting signal caller.

    Nova’s Record as a Starter
    2009 and 2010 at Don Bosco Prep 24-0
    2011 at Rutgers 3-2
    2012 at Rutgers 9-3
    Career 36-5

    Moving Up the Record Books
    Gary Nova is the 11th quarterback in school history to pass for 3,000 yards in a career. Nova has 4,119 career passing yards, sixth in school history.
    Nova has 33 career touchdown passes in just 22 games played - the sixth-highest total in RU history.
    Nova’s 320 career completions rank seventh in school history while his 22 touchdown passes in 2012 are second on the single-season touchdown list.

    Career Touchdown Pass Leaders
    1. Mike Teel (2005-08) 59
    2. Ryan Hart (2002-05) 52
    3. Ray Lucas (1992-95) 43
    4. Mike McMahon (1997-00) 41
    Scott Erney (1986-89) 41
    6. Gary Nova (2011-present) 33

    Career Passing Yardage Leaders
    1. Mike Teel (2005-08) 9,383
    2. Ryan Hart (2002-05) 8,482
    3. Scott Erney (1986-89) 7,188
    4. Mike McMahon (1997-00) 6,608
    5. Ray Lucas (1992-95) 5,896
    6. Gary Nova (2011-present) 4,119

    Single-Season Touchdown Pass Leaders
    1. Mike Teel (2008) 25
    2. Gary Nova (2012) 22*
    3. Mike Teel (2007) 20
    4. Ryan Hart (2005) 18
    Mike McMahon (2000) 18
    *RU Sophomore record

    Single-Season Passing Yardage Leaders
    1. Mike Teel (2008) 3,418
    2. Ryan Hart (2004) 3,154
    3. Mike Teel (2007) 3,147
    4. Ryan Hart (2003) 2,714
    5. Gary Nova (2012) 2,566*
    *RU Sophomore record

    Nova ranks fifth in single-season history with 204 completions in 2012 and sixth in single-season passing attempts (348).

    BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year
    Senior linebacker Khaseem Greene picked up right where he left off in 2012 after being named BIG EAST Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. The Elizabeth native totaled 141 tackles in his first year at linebacker last season, which led the BIG EAST and ranked 12th nationally.
    Greene was the first Scarlet Knight to be named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-America honors by SI.com and Phil Steele.
    In 2012, Greene leads RU and the BIG EAST with 125 tackles. He also has six forced fumbles, two interceptions, 10.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and five pass breakups in 2012.
    Greene ranks 15th nationally and first in the BIG EAST with 10.4 tackles per game.

    National Defensive Player of the Week
    Khaseem Greene was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Syracuse win. Greene was all over the field in Rutgers’ 23-15 victory over Syracuse. The 2011 Co-BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year totaled 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks, forced three fumbles and had an interception against the Orange. Greene’s stellar performance has helped RU to a 6-0 record and 3-0 mark in the BIG EAST. Rutgers is 6-0 for the first time since 2006.
    Greene was also named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week and the Chuck Bednarik National Defensive Player of the Week for his big game against the Orange.
    Greene was the third player in school history to earn the National Player of the Week honor from the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Ray Rice was the Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week on September 3, 2006 and defensive tackle Ramel Meekins was the National Defensive Player of the Week on October 15, 2006.

    Top 10 Greene
    Khaseem Greene is fifth in school history with 376 career tackles. He was named ESPN’s College Football National Defensive Player of the Day on Twitter following the Syracuse win Oct. 13 and following the victory over Army (Nov. 10).

    Rutgers Career Total Tackle Leaders
    1. Tyronne Stowe (1983-86) 533
    2. Jim Dumont (1979-83) 448
    3. Brian Sheridan (1993-97) 389
    4. Courtney Greene (2005-08) 386
    5. Khaseem Greene (2009-present) 376

    Greene is Money
    Khaseem Greene finished with a career-high 22 tackles (6 solo, 16 assists) in the Army win. It was the fourth-highest total by a player in the nation in 2012.

    NCAA Single-Game Tackle Leaders in 2012
    1. Albert Rosette, Nev. 25 vs. Air Force (10/26/12)
    2. Marvin Burdette, UAB 24 vs. Tulane (10/27/12)
    Nick Clancy, Boston College 24 vs. NW (9/15/12)
    4. Khaseem Greene, RU 22 vs. Army (11/10/12)
    Dray Bell, Nev. 22 vs. Air Force (10/26/12)

    Greene tied for the fifth-best single-game tackle total in BIG EAST history vs. Army. He is the first Scarlet Knight since Dax Strohmeyer (11/13/99) against Syracuse to eclipse the 20-tackle mark in a game. Strohmeyer had 23 tackles vs. the Orange.
    Greene recorded the third-best single-game tackle total in RU history in the win over Army.

    Rutgers Single-Game Tackle Leaders
    1. Tyronne Stowe vs. West Virginia, 11/8/86 27
    2. Dax Strohmeyer vs. Syracuse, 11/13/99 23
    3. Khaseem Greene vs. Army, 11/10/12 22

    Big Play Brandon
    Sophomore wide receiver Brandon Coleman has quickly developed into one of the nation’s premier deep threats. The Maryland native has a career yards per reception average of 21.7 and 10 of his 16 career touchdown receptions have covered 30 yards or more.
    Coleman’s 10 receiving touchdowns in 2012 tied Marco Battaglia’s school record for single-season receiving touchdowns set in 1995. The Maryland native is already tied for fifth in school history with 16 receiving touchdowns.
    Coleman has averaged 39.1 yards per touchdown reception in his career.
    He has 16 career touchdown receptions in 25 games played. In 2012, Coleman has 39 receptions for 663 yards and a team-best 10 receiving touchdowns. Coleman also leads the BIG EAST with 10 receiving touchdowns.

    Coleman’s Career Touchdown Receptions
    Opponent Yardage on TD reception
    Louisville (11/29/12) 85
    Pitt (11/24/12) 11
    Army (11/10/12) 16
    Army (11/10/12) 31
    Kent State (10/27/12) 24
    at Arkansas (9/22/12) 19
    at Arkansas (9/22/12) 38
    Howard (9/8/12) 16
    Howard (9/8/12) 32
    at Tulane (9/1/12) 43
    Iowa State (12/30/11) 86
    at Connecticut (11/26/11) 92
    at Connecticut (11/26/11) 17
    at Army (11/12/11) 38
    USF (11/5/11) 34
    North Carolina Central (9/1/11) 44

    Career Receiving Touchdown Leaders
    1. Tim Brown (2006-09) 20
    2. Mark Harrison (2009-present) 18
    3. Kenny Britt (2006-08) 17
    Chris Brantley (1990-93) 17
    5. Tiquan Underwood (2005-08) 16
    Marco Battaglia (1992-95) 16
    Tres Moses (2001-05) 16
    Brandon Coleman (2011-present) 16

    Single-Season Receiving Touchdown Leaders
    1. Brandon Coleman (2012) 10
    Marco Battaglia (1995) 10
    2. Mark Harrison (2010) 9
    Tim Brown (2009) 9
    Bob Simms (1958) 9

    Block Party
    Robb Smith began his tenure at Rutgers as special teams coordinator in 2009 and since that year RU has led the nation in blocked kicks. Smith, who was promoted to defensive coordinator in the off-season, has been part of a unit that scored 11 touchdowns since 2009.
    Isaac Holmes blocked a PAT as Joe Rossi took over as special teams coordinator for RU to start the 2012 season at Tulane.
    In the Howard win, RU blocked two punts - one of which was blocked by Miles Shuler and recovered by Brandon Jones for a six-yard fumble return touchdown.
    Jamal Merrell blocked his fourth career kick as he blocked field goal vs. Syracuse was returned 75 yards for a touchdown by Duron Harmon to swing the momentum in the RU victory.
    In the Temple victory, freshman Leonte Carroo blocked his first career punt to lead to a touchdown on RU’s ensuing drive.
    Against Kent State, Lorenzo Waters blocked the first kick of his career (FG).
    In the Army win, RU blocked two field goals in the 28-7 victory (Jamal Merrell, Marcus Cooper).

    NCAA Blocked Kick Leaders Since 2009
    1. Rutgers 31
    2. Fresno State 24

    NCAA Blocked Kick Leaders (2012)
    1. Rutgers 8
    UCLA 8
    3. Texas 7
    Marshall 7

    Under 300 the Magic Number
    Since 2000, Rutgers is 44-4 when limiting the opposition to less than 300 yards of total offense.
    In 2012, RU is 4-0 when holding the opposition under 300 yards of total offense. RU limited Tulane to 262 yards of total offense in the Sept. 1 victory in the Superdome, held Howard to 149 yards of total offense (Sept. 8) and gave up just 244 yards of total offense against Connecticut.
    Temple (191) was the fourth team held under 300 yards of total offense against Rutgers in 2012.

    Churning Out the Victories on the Ground
    Rutgers is 44-16 when rushing for 150 yards or more in a game since 2000 and 3-0 this season.
    Since 2006, Rutgers is 32-7 when going over the 150-yard plateau on the ground in a game.

    Most Starts in the BIG EAST
    Senior defensive tackle Scott Vallone has started 50 consecutive games - the most of any current active player in the BIG EAST. The Long Island native, who has played both nose tackle and three-technique for the Scarlet Knights, has started every game of his Rutgers career since his redshirt freshman season in Piscataway.
    Vallone is the only defensive player in the nation to make 50 or more consecutive starts.
    In 2012, Vallone has 50 tackles and leads the team with 12.0 TFLs. Vallone tied a career-high with 12 tackles in the Army win.

    Most Career Starts (active players)
    Player School Starts Consecutive
    T.J. Johnson, OL South Carolina 52 52
    Chris Barker, OL Nevada 52 52
    Scott Vallone, DT Rutgers 50 50
    J. Banks, DB Mississippi St. 50 39
    Josh Boyd, DL Mississippi St. 50 21

    Top 25 Recruiting Class
    Kyle Flood was able to land Rutgers’ first Top 25 recruiting class according to Rivals.com last February. The Scarlet Knights’ class was ranked 24th nationally, tops in the BIG EAST, led by five-star defensive tackle Darius Hamilton.
    ESPN also rated Rutgers the best recruiting class in the BIG EAST and 24th nationally as well.
    Hamilton was rated the 11th overall player nationally by Rivals.com, the highest-rated recruit to ever select a BIG EAST school. The Rivals.com National Defensive Player of the Year, Hamilton is currently second on the depth chart at defensive tackle.

    News and Notes ...
    Kyle Flood announced four players were selected team captains by their teammates: senior LB Steve Beauharnais, senior LB Khaseem Greene, senior DB Mason Robinson and senior WR Tim Wright ... Rutgers played in four NFL venues in 2012 - Tulane (New Orleans Saints, USF (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Temple (Philadelphia Eagles) and Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh Steelers ... The Scarlet Knights current five-game bowl winning streak is tied for the nation’s longest active streak with Mississippi State ... Senior defensive back Wayne Warren scored his first career touchdown on a 25-yard interception return for a score in the fourth quarter of the UConn victory ... Rutgers clinched its sixth winning season in the BIG EAST with its 35-10 victory at Temple. RU has back-to-back winning seasons in league play for only the second time in school history.

    First-Year Records
    Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood is just the 11th coach in school history to record a winning season in his first year at RU. The last first-year Rutgers head coach to post a winning record was Dick Anderson in 1984, going 7-3.

    On the Mark
    Rutgers senior WR Mark Harrison continues to climb up the all-time career touchdown reception leaderboard at Rutgers. The Connecticut native caught his 18th career receiving touchdown in the Louisville game.

    Rutgers Career Receiving Touchdown Leaders
    1. Tim Brown (2006-09) 20
    2. Mark Harrison (2009-present) 18
    3. Kenny Britt (2006-08) 17
    Chris Brantley (1990-93) 17
    5. Tiquan Underwood (2005-08) 16
    Marco Battaglia (1992-95) 16
    Tres Moses (2001-05) 16
    Brandon Coleman (2011-present) 16

    Defense Continues to Force Turnovers
    Rutgers has forced a turnover in 15 consecutive games, totaling 33 takeaways over the 15-game stretch.
    Even more impressive, RU has forced at least one turnover in 52 of the previous 56 games, dating back to 2008.

    Strong Second Half
    Rutgers has come out of the halftime break on fire in 2012, outscoring the opposition 82-27. Last season, RU held a 72-58 advantage on the scoreboard in the third quarter of play.
    In the second half of play in 2012, RU has outscored the opponent 172-80.

    Memorable First Career Start
    Sophomore RB Savon Huggins had one of the finest first career starts of any player in RU history November 17 at Cincinnati. Huggins tied a school record with 41 rushing attempts for a career-high 179 yards in RU’s 10-3 win.

    Player, Opponent Att.-Yards-TD
    Terrell Willis at Army (10-16-93) 37-221-4
    Savon Huggins at Cincinnati (11-17-12) 41-179-0
    Jourdan Brooks at Navy (9-20-08) 22-134-2
    “JJ” Jennings vs. Colgate (11-20-71) 21-108-3
    Bruce Presley vs. WVU (11-14-92) 27-105-0
    Kordell Young vs. Fresno State (9-1-08) 26-94-0
    Mason Robinson vs. UNC (9-11-08) 16-82-0
    Joe Martinek vs. Louisville (12-4-08) 18-57-0
    Ray Rice at Illinois (9-3-05) 12-55-0
    Jawan Jamison at Syracuse (10-1-11) 24-48-0
    Brian Leonard vs. Buffalo (8-30-03) * 6-11-0
    * started at fullback

    No Slogan Needed for Logan
    Junior CB Logan Ryan has shown why he is regarded as one of the nation’s top all-around cornerbacks in 2012. The South Jersey native is the only player in the nation with at least 85 tackles, four interceptions and 18 passes defended.

    Ryan By The Numbers
    Category (Total) National Rank
    Pass Breakups (14) T-12
    Passes Defended (18) T-8
    Interceptions (4) T-24

    Ryan ranks second on the team with 87 tackles in 2012. In 36 career games played, Ryan has 29 pass breakups.

     

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