Rutgers and South Florida may have both been 2-0 going into Thursday night's game, but neither team resembled a powerhouse at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
There were turnovers and penalties aplenty, but Rutgers ultimately came out on top, 23-13.
After a five-play, 52-yard drive down the stretch, freshman kicker Kyle Federico nailed a field goal from 22 yards out to give Rutgers the lead for good with under three minutes to play.
Then junior running back Jawan Jamison iced the game for the Scarlet Knights when South Florida desperately needed a stop, escaping for a 41-yard touchdown with 1:19 remaining. Jamison finished with a school-record 41 carries for 151 yards.
Rutgers jumped out to the lead with seven minutes remaining in the third quarter when sophomore quarterback Gary Nova connected with Mark Harrison on a six-yard touchdown. Although Nova threw the ball a bit behind Harrison, the senior wideout was able to corral the ball in the end zone.
But USF went on a nine-play, 68-yard drive in the beginning of the fourth, culminating in a Demetris Murray plunge into the end zone. The drive saw the Bulls tie the game up, 13-13, with 9:23 remaining.
Despite picking up a litany of penalties and losing a fumble in the first half, the Scarlet Knights found themselves only down 6-3 at the half.
That's because South Florida had some turnovers and penalties of its own and was dominated in time of possession in the first half.
After Rutgers went three-and-out to start off the third quarter, USF's Terrence Mitchell coughed the ball up on the ensuing punt return, giving it right back to the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers then drove 24 yards before Federico knocked it through the uprights to tie the game, 6-6.
In USF's next drive, it took two plays for senior quarterback B.J. Daniels to throw his second interception of the game, which allowed the Scarlet Knights to capitalize and take the lead.
Daniels was charged with his third interception with 2:59 remaining in the third, but this one wasn't his fault. After driving 70 yards to Rutgers' 5-yard line, his pass bounced off the fingers of tight end Evan Landi and was picked off by Wayne Warren in the end zone for a touchback.
Rutgers ended up with 11 penalties for 85 yards, while South Florida committed four turnovers and went 4-of-12 on third down.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!