Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rutgers 42, Texas Southern Tigers 0

Rutgers' defense comes up big in 42-0 victory over Texas Southern

It’s easy to look at Rutgers’ dominant defensive performance Saturday and pooh-pooh it because it came against an overmatched Texas Southern team, and not, say, Pittsburgh. But it’s not David Rowe’s fault that Texas Southern was Rutgers’ opponent. So Rowe won’t make any apologies for his first career interception, which he returned 56 yards for his first college touchdown in Rutgers’ 42-0 demolition of Texas Southern Saturday on Homecoming Day at Rutgers Stadium. Instead, Rowe will focus on the fact that his play, which opened the scoring, got the Scarlet Knights off and running to the easy victory that will serve to prep them for this Friday’s visit by 5-1 Pittsburgh.

“I saw the quarterback’s eyes go that way, I just jumped the corner route and I looked to my left I saw a whole bunch of blockers, so I figured I could get into the zone,” Rowe said. “When the defense puts the first points on the board, it’s kind of like the defense set the tone.” In a game where the biggest question going in was how quarterback Tom Savage would look in his first action since suffering a concussion against Florida International Sept. 19, the Rutgers defense made a statement that it is playing a whole lot better than it did in that embarrassing season-opening loss to Cincinnati. The RU defense held Texas Southern to 147 yards in total offense, including minus-3 yards rushing. Rutgers also piled up seven sacks — the most they have recorded in a game since they had seven against South Florida in 2007 — and forced four turnovers.

The Morning After: Breaking down Rutgers' 42-0 victory over Texas Southern


Yes, that’s all this game amounted to. But with an important game coming up Friday against Pittsburgh, it was important to get everybody on the field after a weekend off and run through the plays and get tuned up. Tom Savage returned to action for the first time since suffering a concussion Sept. 19 against Florida International. Savage (14-for-21, 150 yards, one TD) looked fine in everything he did in his three quarters-plus of action. He connected on a 53-yard pass to Mohamed Sanu in the first series of the third quarter that was wiped out by a holding penalty, and he ran six times for 32 yards. He had one 28-yard run in the second quarter where he passed up an opportunity to run out of bounds or slide to avoid the hit. Instead he kept going until he was tackled. He also was sacked twice and hit hard on several of his runs, but appeared fine.


David Rowe’s 56-yard interception return for a touchdown was the Scarlet Knights’ fourth defensive touchdown on the season, and gave them a three-game streak in which they have scored at least one defensive touchdown. Texas Southern did a bunch of spread formation, empty-backfield stuff, with lots of no-huddle. But the Rutgers defense was not confused. It gave up a few medium-range passes early on, but had seven sacks, forced four turnovers, and surrendered just 126 yards.

Sidelights: Rutgers routs Texas Southern for 600th victory - NCAA College ...

Rutgers scheduled the bottom of the SWAC and MEAC as part of its 12-game slate for this season. The Scarlett Knights beat Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Howard University 45-7 on Sept. 12. The positive for Texas Southern was that it got a $400,000 payday to come to the birthplace of college football. Rutgers played the first college game against Princeton in 1869. The Scarlet Knights are now 600-591-42 in their 140-year history. They are the 38th FCS school to win 600 games. Texas Southern will forever be in Rutger's football history as the 600th win. The NCAA allows Football Bowl Subdivision schools to count only one victory over an FCS opponent (Howard and Texas Southern) toward the six-win minimum to qualify for a bowl berth.


Attendance: 50,169@ Rutgers Stadium, Piscataway, NJ

Photo Galleries:
Texas Southern at Rutgers "Homecoming"
Slideshow: Rutgers 42, Texas Southern 0

No comments: