SYRACUSE, N.Y. (November 21, 2009) – Rutgers senior wide receiver Tim Brown (Miami, Fla.) became the school’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns with a second quarter TD reception, but the No. 25 Scarlet Knights (7-3, 2-3 BIG EAST) were unable to overcome a 14-point deficit as Syracuse won 31-13 on Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse (4-7, 1-5 BIG EAST) got out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Rutgers got the first score of the second quarter on a blocked punt by junior safety Joe Lefeged (Germantown, Md.), leading to the two-point safety to make it 14-2. Junior punter Teddy Dellaganna (Templeton, Calf.) pinned the Orange on their own three-yard line to start the second quarter. The Scarlet Knights then forced a three-and-out resulting in the blocked punt.
Rutgers closed the gap to 11 points (21-10) after an attempted onside kick by Syracuse was recovered at the 38-yard line by senior defensive back Billy Anderson (West Orange, N.J.). The Scarlet Knights began its drive in Orange territory and used just one play in nine seconds to find the end zone.
True freshman wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (South Brunswick, N.J.) connected on a 38-yard TD pass to Brown. The touchdown reception was the 18th of Brown’s career, making him the all-time leader in Rutgers history. True freshman quarterback Tom Savage (Springfield, Pa.) completed a pass to junior tight end Shamar Graves (Woodbridge, N.J.) on the ensuing two-point conversion to make it 21-10 for the Orange.
Syracuse tacked on a 44-yard field goal at the close of the first half to increase its lead to 14 points at 24-10.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Lefeged recorded his second blocked kick of the game on a 32-yard field goal attempt by Syracuse. Sophomore cornerback David Rowe (Cocoa, Fla.) recovered the loose ball and returned it 16 yards to set up the Scarlet Knights’ next drive on the Syracuse 45-yard line.
Rutgers then went 38 yards in eight plays, culminating the drive with a 25-yard field goal by sophomore placekicker San San Te (Conover, N.C.) to bring RU within 11 points (24-13).
A rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter for Syracuse helped seal the win as the Orange held on 31-13.
Rutgers will play its second of back-to-back road games with a 12 noon kickoff at Louisville on Friday, Nov. 27.
POST GAME NOTES
Rutgers blocked three kicks in the game against Syracuse. The Scarlet Knights got blocked punts from senior CB Devin McCourty (Nanuet, N.Y.) and junior SS Joe Lefeged (Germantown, Md.). Lefeged also blocked a field goal against the Orange.
It was the first time Rutgers blocked multiple kicks in a game since Oct. 14, 2006 when Manny Collins and Glen Lee each blocked a punt against Navy.
Lefeged’s second-quarter punt block in the end zone resulting in a safety was the Scarlet Knights’ first safety since Oct. 18, 2008 when Blair Bines (Shirley, N.Y.) recorded a safety against Connecticut.
Lefeged’s blocked punt was the fourth of the season. Senior CB Devin McCourty (Nanuet, N.Y.) has blocked three punts this season (against Pittsburgh, USF and against Syracuse) and true freshman LB Steve Beauharnais (Saddle Brook, N.J.) blocked a punt at Army.
Senior WR Tim Brown (Miami, Fla.) became Rutgers’ all-time touchdown reception leader with 18 for his career. He passed Kenny Britt (2006-08) and Chris Brantley (1990-93) on a 38-yard TD reception from WR Mohamed Sanu (South Brunswick, N.J.) in the second quarter against the Orange.
The touchdown reception is his seventh of the season, which tied him with Kenny Britt (2008), Tiquan Underwood (2007), Steve Harper (1995), Chris Brantley (1992) and Mark Twitty (1975) for fifth place on the Scarlet Knights’ single-season receiving touchdown list.
With 67 receiving yards, Brown moved into sixth place on the Rutgers all-time receiving yardage list with 2,034 career receiving yards.
Brown also moved into fifth place on the school’s single-season receiving yardage list with 927 receiving yards this season. He passed Marco Battaglia (894 yards in 1995) to move into fifth.
With four catches against Syracuse, Brown extended his streak of 10 games with at least one reception.
True freshman WR Mohamed Sanu (South Brunswick, N.J.) also has at least one reception in all 10 games this season.
Junior SS Joe Lefeged (Germantown, Md.) blocked punt and a field goal against the Orange. It was the first two blocked kicks of his career.
Senior CB Devin McCourty (Nanuet, N.Y.) blocked his seventh career kick and third of the season with a fourth-quarter blocked punt against Syracuse.
McCourty is also averaging 27.9 yards on kickoff returns this season after bringing back a first-quarter kickoff 50 yards against Syracuse. He has 11 kickoff returns for 307 yards, including a touchdown this season.
Senior LB Ryan D’Imperio (Sewell, N.J.) recorded a career-high 14 tackles against the Orange. His previous career-high tackle total was 13 against North Carolina on Sept. 11, 2008.
Redshirt freshman WR Tim Wright (Wall, N.J.) made his first career start against Syracuse.