Foster’s scamper gave the Scarlet Knights the lead just 11 seconds into the contest, the first RU opening kickoff return for a touchdown in almost three years (Sept. 28, 2002, Nate Jones, 100 yards at Tennessee) and the longest for a Scarlet Knight in Rutgers Stadium since 1991 (Sept. 21, Gary Melton,
96 yards vs. Northwestern).
The Wildcats answered on their second drive with a 32-yard pass from Marvin Burroughs to John Dieser, but Adam James’ kick was blocked, making the score
7-6 in Rutgers’ favor with 7:21 remaining in the first quarter.
That one-point differential was as close as Villanova would get, as RU responded with 31 unanswered points.
Brian Leonard (Gouverneur, NY) plowed his way into the end zone from the two-yard line, and Jeremy Ito (Redlands, CA) converted the extra point, pushing the Scarlet Knights ahead 14-6 with 3:17 to play in the first. On the very next Wildcat possession, Val Barnaby (Franklin, NJ) ripped the ball out of Burrough’s hand and Ryan Neill (Wayne Hills, NJ) pounced on it, stopping Villanova cold at Rutgers’ 23-yard line. RU then put together a 12-play drive, finishing with a 44-yard Ito field goal, to make the score 17-6 (8:05, second).
Sophomore Mike Teel (Oakland, NJ) took over the controls on Rutgers’ next possession, moving the Scarlet Knights 88 yards in 11 plays in his first collegiate action. True freshman Ray Rice (New Rochelle, NY) capped the drive with his first career touchdown, an 11-yard burst to push the Scarlet Knight advantage to 18 (24-6, 3:52).
After a defensive stand at midfield gave the RU offense the ball at the 50-yard line, Ryan Hart (Coral Springs, FL) made short work of the Wildcat defense, completing a 36-yard pass to Tres Moses (Delray Beach, FL) and a 15-yard touchdown strike to Clark Harris (Manahawkin, NJ) for a 25-point cushion (31-6) early in the third quarter (10:58). Leonard added another two-yard touchdown six-and-a-half minutes later for the final points of the afternoon.
Hart completed 16 of 22 passes for 234 yards and one touchdown, while Teel connected on three of six attempts for 42 yards. With his second-quarter completion to Tiquan Underwood (Lawrenceville, NJ), Hart became Rutgers’ all-time leader in career completions (615). He finished the game with 623.
Moses notched his sixth career 100-yard game, hauling in seven passes for
114 yards, moving into second place in career receptions (159) and fourth place in career receiving yardage (1,959). Rice carried 13 times for a team-high 64 yards, including his first career touchdown, while Leonard had
14 carries for 51 yards and two scores. Leonard’s 51 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards in the lopsided victory ended his streak of 100 all-purpose yard games at 16. Ito was perfect in his place-kicking duties, connecting on all five extra points and his one field-goal attempt.
Sophomore Ron Girault (Spring Valley, NY) led the RU defense with his 9.5 tackles, while true freshman Courtney Greene (New Rochelle, NY) contributed his second straight solid outing, registering 8.0 tackles. Neill and Barnaby each recorded two sacks for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers will return to action Saturday, Sept. 17, when they travel to Buffalo, NY, to face the Bulls at 8:00 p.m.
POST GAME NOTES
KICKOFF RETURN OPENS HOME SEASON
Willie Foster returned the opening kickoff today 93 yards for a touchdown, the second kickoff return for a score of his career (11/25/04 vs. Connecticut – 80 yards). Foster’s TD return to open the game was the second of the Greg Schiano era – Nate Jones returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score on Sept. 28, 2002 at Tennessee, one of two TD returns for Jones that season on his way to BIG EAST Special Team Player of the Year honors. (The RU Stadium record for longest kickoff return is 97 yards by Tom Sweeney, set on Nov. 18, 1972 vs. Morgan State.)
FOUR SEE FIRST GAME ACTION
Four more Scarlet Knights made their collegiate debuts this afternoon vs. Villanova: DE Peter Tverdov, WR Tiquan Underwood, WR Keith Taylor and QB Mike Teel. Teel completed his first pass at the 5:34 mark of the second quarter, connecting with Marcus Daniels for 17 yards and orchestrated an 11-play, 88-yard drive which ended with an 11-yard TD run by Ray Rice (his first career TD). Underwood also had his first catch at the 9:40 mark of the second quarter, hauling in a 17-yard pass from Ryan Hart. Rutgers now has 13 players who have seen their first career action in the first two games.
HART PASSES ERNEY FOR RUTGERS’ CAREER COMPLETIONS MARK
With his final completion of the first half – 17-yard pass to Tiquan Underwood – senior QB Ryan Hart moved past Scott Erney (1986-89) for first place on the Rutgers career completions list with 615. Hart finished the game 16-for-22 for 234 yards, the 19th 200-yard game of his career.
MOSES' STREAK CONTINUES
With another catch today, Tres Moses extended his reception streak to 25 games, tying Miami’s Kellen Winslow (2002-03) for ninth place on the BIG EAST list. With a catch in all 11 regular season games, Moses could advance as high as third on the list, tying Latef Grim of Pittsburgh (1998-00). West Virginia’s Khori Ivy (1997-00) holds the conference record with a catch in 40-straight games.
MORE ON MOSES
Moses moved into fourth place on the career receiving list at Rutgers, passing Chris Brantley (1914 yards, 1990-93), with 1,959 at the end of today’s contest. Moses also moved into second place on the career receptions list with 159, passing Jim Guarantano (158 catches, 1989-92). Rutgers’ all-time leader in receptions is former All-American tight end Marco Battaglia (171, 1992-95).
HARRIS BECOMES FOURTH RU RECEIVER TO REACH 1,000 YARDS
With 4:47 remaining in the second quarter, Clark Harris hauled in an 18-yard pass from Mike Teel, eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark for career receiving yards. That catch also extended Harris’ catch streak to 20 games. RU now has four active receivers with 1,000 or more receiving yards in their career (Tres Moses, Shawn Tucker, Brian Leonard are the others).
RU is now 8-7 all-time vs. Villanova following today’s win … Today’s attendance of 32,412 marks the fifth time in the last seven home games dating back to the 2004 season opener that Rutgers has had at least 30,000 fans in attendance … Moses reached the 100-yard mark for the sixth time in his career and for the fourth time in the last seven games … Brian Leonard had multiple rushing TD’s in a game for the fifth time in his career and for the first time since rushing for three last season (10/9) at Vanderbilt … Hart passed for 200 or more yards for the 19th time in his career and for the seventh-straight time … Rutgers’ 38-points surpassed last season’s high of 37 at Vanderbilt (10/9) and represents the highest point total since a 48-27 win over Navy on 9/27/03 … Rutgers played its third-straight turnover-free football game, dating back to the 2004 season finale vs. Connecticut … Ryan Neill set a career-high with 4.5 tackles-for-loss vs. the Wildcats.
Box Score (Final) VILLANOV vs RUTGERS (Sep 10, 2005 at Piscatway, NJ) Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- VILLANOV............ 6 0 0 0 - 6 Record: (0-1) RUTGERS............. 14 10 14 0 - 38 Record: (1-1) Scoring Summary: 1st 14:49 RUTGERS - FOSTER, Willie 93 yd kickoff return (ITO, Jeremy kick), VILLANOV 0 - RUTGERS 7 07:21 VILLANOV - John Dieser 32 yd pass from Marvin Burrough (Adam James kick blockd), 9-80 2:44, VILLANOV 6 - RUTGERS 7 03:17 RUTGERS - LEONARD, Brian 2 yd run (ITO, Jeremy kick), 10-71 3:56, VILLANOV 6 - RUTGERS 14 2nd 08:05 RUTGERS - ITO, Jeremy 44 yd field goal, 12-50 5:53, VILLANOV 6 - RUTGERS 17 03:52 RUTGERS - RICE, Ray 11 yd run (ITO, Jeremy kick), 11-88 2:38, VILLANOV 6 - RUTGERS 24 3rd 10:58 RUTGERS - HARRIS, Clark 15 yd pass from HART, Ryan (ITO, Jeremy kick), 3-50 1:02, VILLANOV 6 - RUTGERS 31 04:18 RUTGERS - LEONARD, Brian 2 yd run (ITO, Jeremy kick), 6-73 2:09, VILLANOV 6 - RUTGERS 38 VILLANOV RUTGERS FIRST DOWNS................... 28 24 RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 31-85 33-96 PASSING YDS (NET)............. 359 276 Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 54-33-0 28-19-0 TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 85-444 61-372 Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0 Punt Returns-Yards............ 1-18 0-0 Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 4-70 2-107 Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 0-0 Punts (Number-Avg)............ 2-48.0 3-41.3 Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-1 0-0 Penalties-Yards............... 9-78 7-68 Possession Time............... 33:04 26:56 Third-Down Conversions........ 6 of 15 5 of 9 Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 6 0 of 0 Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 1-3 5-5 Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 2-18 5-38 RUSHING: VILLANOV-Martin Gibson 7-24; J.J. Outlaw 3-20; Marvin Burrough 6-20; Matt Dicken 3-17; DeQuese May 6-3; Tyree Hughey 1-2; Frank Jankowski 5-minus 1. RUTGERS-RICE, Ray 13-64; LEONARD, Brian 14-51; FACYSON, Markis 3-minus 2; HART, Ryan 3-minus 17. PASSING: VILLANOV-Frank Jankowski 17-32-0-209; Marvin Burrough 16-22-0-150. RUTGERS-HART, Ryan 16-22-0-234; TEEL, Mike 3-6-0-42. RECEIVING: VILLANOV-J.J. Outlaw 9-91; John Dieser 6-74; Matthew Sherry 5-60; DeQuese May 4-34; Christopher Pol 2-33; Anton Ridley 2-32; Martin Gibson 2-2; Matt Dicken 1-22; Tyree Hughey 1-16; John Finneran 1-minus 5. RUTGERS-MOSES, Tres 7-114; HARRIS, Clark 4-69; DANIELS, Marcus 2-29; LEONARD, Brian 2-23; JOHNSON, Sam 2-9; UNDERWOOD, Tiqu 1-17; FOSTER, Willie 1-15. INTERCEPTIONS: VILLANOV-None. RUTGERS-None. FUMBLES: VILLANOV-Frank Jankowski 1-0; Marvin Burrough 1-1. RUTGERS-None. Stadium: Rutgers Stadium Attendance: 32412 Kickoff time: 3:30pm End of Game: 6:59pm Total elapsed time: 3:27 Officials: Referee: G.McGinn; Umpire: M.Semcheski; Linesman: M.Fitzgerald; Line judge: T.Reese; Back judge: J.McDaid; Field judge: B.Vasconcells; Side judge: G.Yette; Temperature: 82 F Wind: Light Weather: Sunny ID-379403