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Instant analysis: Rutgers 45, Central Florida 24

12/20/2009

Instant analysis of Rutgers' 45-24 win over Central Florida in the St. Petersburg Bowl on Saturday night:

How the game was won: Rutgers managed to take advantage of Central Florida's shaky pass defense to the tune of 294 passing yards by freshman quarterback Tom Savage. The defense, meanwhile, held UCF to just 32 rushing yards and came up with two key interceptions -- including one for a touchdown -- as the Scarlet Knights cruised to victory.

Turning point: Billy Anderson's interception and 19-yard return for a score late in the first half gave Rutgers a commanding 28-17 lead going into the half.

Player of the game: Mohamed Sanu. The Rutgers true freshman scored three touchdowns -- two out of Wildcat formation rushes and one on a reception -- and had 147 total yards.

Unsung hero of the game: Tim Brown was doubtful with a leg injury and appeared to be injured again during the game. Still, he managed four catches for 100 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown that was reminiscent of his grab-and-go to beat Connecticut earlier this year.

Stat of the game: Brynn Harvey, who had rushed for more than 100 yards in his last three regular season games, was held to 30 yards on 13 carries by the Rutgers defense.

What it means: It's hard to say the St. Petersburg Bowl means a whole lot. Still, Rutgers wrapped up a nine-win season and has something to build upon going into next year, especially with true freshmen Savage and Sanu playing so well. They should be stars in the Big East for a long, long time. As for Central Florida, the Knights showed they aren't quite ready for the Big East yet despite talk of the Knights being a potential addition to the league in the near future.