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(Saturday, November 17th)
Final Score: (22) Rutgers 10, Cincinnati 3
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Mark Harrison caught four balls for 106 yards and the game's lone touchdown to lift No. 22 Rutgers over Cincinnati, 10-3, at Nippert Stadium.
Gary Nova completed 11-of-19 passes for 189 yards with two interceptions and the touchdown pass to Harrison for the Scarlet Knights (9-1, 5-0 Big East), who are 5-0 in the Big East for the first time in school history.
Savon Huggins carried the ball 41 times for 179 yards in Rutgers' second straight victory.
"Certainly a win that we're really excited about. I couldn't be more proud of the way the team played today in its entirety," Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said. "I think this is a very typical Big East November game with two teams that are at the top of the conference; a very physical game. We feel fortunate to have come out on top."
Brendon Kay went 17-for-31 through the air for 251 yards and a pair of interceptions for Cincinnati (7-3, 3-2), which had its two-game win streak snapped.
After holding Cincinnati to a three-and-out, Rutgers started its first possession of the game at its own 19 and quickly moved deep into Bearcats' territory with receptions of 41 and 14 yards by Brandon Coleman and Harrison, respectively. However, Camerron Cheatham then stepped in front of a Nova pass at the Cincinnati seven to keep the Scarlet Knights off the board.
The Bearcats marched all the way down to the Rutgers' 21-yard line on the ensuing possession, but Tony Miliano missed a 34-yard field goal wide right to keep it a scoreless game with 7:17 left in the first quarter.
The teams traded punts from there until the Scarlet Knights' Logan Ryan made a leaping interception at the Rutgers' 3-yard line on a deep pass down the left sideline.
The Scarlet Knights were able to capitalize on the turnover five plays later, when Nova found Harrison with a pass over the middle and he raced 71 yards for a touchdown to give Rutgers a 7-0 lead with 6:13 left in the second quarter.
Rutgers moved the ball to the Cincinnati 18 within the final minute of the half looking to add to its lead, but Dominique Battle intercepted Nova in the right side of the end zone to keep it a 7-0 game at the break.
After holding Rutgers to a three-and-out on the opening possession of the third quarter, Kay hit three separate receivers for double-digit gains to move the ball deep into Scarlet Knights territory.
However, the Bearcats opted to go for it on a 4th-and-1 at the Rutgers seven and George Winn was stuffed for a loss to turn the ball over on downs.
Rutgers would be held to a punt, but Steve Beauharnais picked off Kay on the second play of the Bearcats' ensuing drive and returned it 18 yards to the Cincinnati 44.
A defensive pass interference penalty on a 3rd-and-14 at the Cincinnati 24 gave the Scarlet Knights a fresh set of downs, but they could not push the ball across the goal line and Nick Borgese's 22-yard field goal attempt was blocked, keeping it a one-possession game with 1:27 remaining in the third quarter.
Rutgers, though, was able to add to its lead on its next touch when Borgese connected on a 42-yard field goal to cap a 12-play, 62-yard drive with 7:59 left in the game.
Kay's pass attempt fell incomplete on a 4th-and-25 at the Rutgers' 44-yard line on Cincinnati's ensuing drive, but the Bearcats were able to get on the board following a Rutgers punt when Miliano connected on a 36-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the game.
Cincinnati then failed to recover an onsides kick to seal the victory for Rutgers.
"That's a great defense, but obviously we have great standards and expectations on how we're going to play offensive football here and this game didn't meet our standards or expectations," Cincinnati coach Butch Jones said about his team getting held out of the end zone.
Cincinnati has not been shut out at home since 2005 ... Rutgers improved to 2-6-1 all time at Cincinnati and now leads the all-time series between the teams, 9-8-1 ... With the win, Flood became the only first-year coach in school history to win nine games ... Kay led the Bearcats in rushing with 46 yards on 13 carries.
11/17 17:16:02 ET
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