Scarlet Knights Thank Norfolk State for Playing
Norfolk State took the trip to New Jersey and left with a $330,000 paycheck, which, frankly, was the point of the exercise. So, as expected, the Spartans were never in it; Rutgers dominated from start to finish. Paul James followed up his outstanding opening-game performance at Fresno with another 100-yard rushing game, compiling 119 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns. Savon Huggins, the star recruit from St.Peter's who is still looking to be consistent, also had a good game, as he carried the ball 21 times for 96 yards.
Quarterback Gary Nova had a pedestrian game. He threw for 150 yards on 12 completions, but the passing game was not needed as the Knights jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back.
James scored his first touchdown on a one-yard run in the first quarter, and after Nova hit Ruhann Peele on a eight-yard scoring pass, James rang up another on a ten-yard scamper to make it 21-0.
Rutgers let up in the second stanza, and the score remained 21-0 at the half, but the Knights came out in the third quarter and put the game away. Huggins scored first on a one-yard run and then James ran 25 yards for his third touchdown, and Rutgers led 35-0.
Kyle Federico, who had added all five extra points, kicked a 24-yard field goal for the final points of the day as the Knights evened their record at 1-1.
Rutgers' defense, after giving up 52 points last week, pitched a shutout Saturday, and set up the first two scores. Quron Pratt blocked a punt after the first Spartans' drive, and freshman Anthony Cioffi recovered it, setting up James' first touchdown. Another freshman, Steve Longa, recovered a Norfolk fumble on their next drive, putting the Knights in a good position to go ahead 14-0. Jamal Merrell added an interception for Rutgers, which held the Spartans to 133 total yards and six first downs while forcing two turnovers.
Rutgers has another home game next week against Eastern Michigan and should be 2-1 heading into a big home clash against Arkansas. If they can get by that one and defeat SMU the following week, the Knights will travel to Louisville with a four-game winning streak and try to avenge last season's heart-breaking defeat that cost them their first BCS bowl appearance.