(Thursday, November 12th)
Final Score: Rutgers 31, (23) South Florida 0
Piscataway, NJ (Sports Network) - Joe Martinek ran for 128 yards and a touchdown, as Rutgers put on a defensive display in a 31-0 rout of the 23rd- ranked South Florida Bulls.
Tom Savage completed 15-of-30 passes for 194 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for the Scarlet Knights (7-2, 2-2 Big East), who have won three straight games since a loss to Pittsburgh. Mohamed Sanu had five receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a two-point conversion.
Tim Brown added a receiving score as part of a three-catch, 49-yard effort, and the Rutgers defense held South Florida to just 159 total yards in the game.
"They went after this thing with tremendous focus," said Rutgers coach Greg Schiano. "I think they earned the right to be confident going into the game. They played very well."
B.J. Daniels threw for 129 yards and two interceptions on 7-of-17 passing for South Florida (6-3, 2-3), which has lost three of four since starting the season 5-0. A.J. Love caught four passes for 80 yards, as the Bulls managed just seven first downs and had only nine plays in opposing territory.
Mike Ford was the team's leading rusher with nine carries for 17 yards.
"I don't know if I should just go to questions. We got dominated. Our offense got dominated by their defense. I thought our defense played and did some things. For it to only be 13-0 at halftime, I was shocked with as many mistakes as we made in the first half. For us, to be in the ballgame -- I was shocked," said South Florida coach Jim Leavitt.
Rutgers took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards down the field in nine plays. The drive nearly stalled at midfield, but Savage found Sanu for a 13- yard gain on 3rd-and-9 to keep the drive going, and Sanu later finished the drive with a 25-yard touchdown reception for the early lead.
Daniels was intercepted on South Florida's initial possession, leading to San San Te's 36-yard field goal eight minutes into the game for a 10-0 Scarlet Knights advantage.
The Bulls finally got into opposing territory early in the second quarter on a 37-yard pass play, but Daniels fumbled on the next play to hand it back to Rutgers.
Te missed a field goal on Rutgers' ensuing series, but he added a 26-yard field goal in the final minute of the half to give the home team a 13-0 lead at the midway point.
The Scarlet Knights forced two punts to start the second half and took over at their own 41 five minutes into the third quarter. Four rushes in a row netted 33 yards down to the USF 26, and Savage threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Brown on the next play for a 19-0 lead. A two-point conversion rush by Sanu stretched the advantage to 21.
As USF continued to struggle, Rutgers went up by 24 in the early moments of the fourth quarter on Te's 49-yard field goal.
Just over two minutes later, Martinek ran for a 37-yard score to boost the Scarlet Knights' lead to 31-0.
Rutgers leads the all-time series, 4-1, and has won the last two games by a combined 80-16...Both teams were coming off an open week...South Florida had 30 yards rushing in the game, compared to 160 for Rutgers...USF went 2-for-12 on third downs, and the Scarlet Knights went 7-for-17.
11/13 01:40:31 ET