In a critical conference game between two teams contending for a Big East crown, Rutgers went on the road and controlled Cincinnati for a 10-3 win. Kyle Flood's team repeatedly pounded the ball on the ground and relied on one of the best defensive performances in the conference all season. Cincinnati had one of the top rushing attacks in the country, and has connected on more big plays than anyone in the conference. But the Rutgers defense bottled up the Bearcats and avoided the big play strike.
On the other side, the biggest swing of the game was the result of a Rutgers quick strike, as Gary Nova went over the top to Mark Harrison for a 71-yard touchdown. The score came just four plays after the Scarlet Knights' defense picked off Brendon Kay at the three-yard line. Deep in their own territory, Rutgers set up the UC defense and handed it off to Savon Huggins three straight times. Huggins found room and moved the offense out of the shadow of their own goal line. With the Bearcats keying on the run, Rutgers took a shot deep down the middle of the field and Nova hit Harrison perfectly in stride for the 71-yard score.
With No. 1 back Jawan Jamison still nursing an ankle injury from last week, Huggins carried the load on the ground. He had 20 carries in the first half alone, and consistently found room to run while burning clock and keeping the defense off the field. Huggins was featured on a fourth-quarter drive that resulted in three more points for the Scarlet Knights, and sealed up with 10-3 win.
Rutgers is now 5-0 in the Big East for the first time in school history. With two games remaining, they control their own destiny in their attempt for a BCS bid.
Box Score Hero: It was a career day for Huggins, who finished with 179 yards on 41 (!) carries.
Rankings Ramifications: In command of the Big East, Rutgers will likely rise up the polls and break into the top 20.
But Did They Cover? Cincinnati was favored by 6.5 points at home, but Rutgers pulled off the "upset."
For More On This Game: For more on Scarlet Knights football, visit Rutgers blog On The Banks, plus Big East blog Big East Coast Bias and SB Nation New York. For more on Bearcats football, visit Cincinnati blog Down The Drive, plus Big East blog Big East Coast Bias.
Next Week's Schedule: Rutgers will stay on the road in the conference and face Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. Cincinnati hosts South Florida in primetime on Friday night.