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Saturday, November 19, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Rutgers 20, Cincinnati 3

By Kieran Darcy



Recap | Box score | Photos

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- A quick take on Rutgers' 20-3 win over Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon at High Point Solutions Stadium, highlighted by Jawan Jamison's 200-yard day:

WHAT IT MEANS: Rutgers wins its third straight game and improves to 8-3 on the season, 4-2 in the Big East. More importantly, the Scarlet Knights now own at least a share of first place in the conference with just one regular-season game remaining. Rutgers is trying to win its first Big East championship and BCS bowl bid.

THE SKINNY: Rutgers led 10-3 at intermission after dominating time of possession during the first half, holding the ball for 20 minutes and 26 seconds. Much of that came on the Scarlet Knights' 23-play, 82-yard drive that took up the majority of the second quarter, but only resulted in a 19-yard field goal. Rutgers' first-quarter touchdown came after Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux was sacked and fumbled deep in his own end.

The Scarlet Knights took firm control of this game on their first drive of the third quarter -- a 94-yard march, their longest drive of the season. It ended with Jamison's second TD run of the game, giving Rutgers a 17-3 lead. San San Te tacked on a 43-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. Cincinnati never mounted a serious comeback challenge.

TOTAL DOMINATION: Stat sheets don't get much more lopsided than the one from this game. Rutgers finished with 23 first downs; Cincinnati had just 11. Rutgers had 385 total yards of offense; Cincinnati had just 225. And the Bearcats' numbers, meager as they were, were padded in the fourth quarter when Rutgers had a big lead and was just trying to prevent big plays.

Cincinnati came in averaging 37.1 points per game -- the No. 15 scoring offense in the country. But the Bearcats were without starting quarterback Zach Collaros, who was injured last week against West Virginia.

ON THE RUN: Rutgers wideout Mohamed Sanu, who set the Big East single-season record for receptions last Saturday against Army, had a quiet day -- just four catches for 29 yards. The Scarlet Knights did most of their damage on the ground. Jamison, a redshirt freshman, was outstanding, finishing with 34 carries for 200 yards and the two scores.

Cincinnati boasted the second-best rushing defense in the country coming in, giving up just 81.4 yards per game on the ground. Rutgers had the third-worst rushing offense in the country. Talk about an unexpected result.

WHAT'S NEXT: Rutgers plays at UConn next Saturday at noon -- a win will guarantee the Scarlet Knights at least a tie for the Big East title. As for the conference's automatic BCS bid? That will depend on the fates of other teams -- particularly Louisville and West Virginia, both of whom beat Rutgers earlier this season and would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Scarlet Knights.

Both Louisville and West Virginia also currently have two conference losses.