Jawan Jamison ran 151 yards and a touchdown, and Kyle Federico kicked three field goals to help Rutgers begin Big East Conference play with a 23-13 victory over South Florida on Thursday night in Tampa, Fla.
Gary Nova threw for 277 yards and one touchdown for the Scarlet Knights, who snapped a 13-13 tie on Federico’s 22-yard field goal with 2:48 remaining. A little more than a minute later, Jamison scored on a 41-yard run after USF (2-1 overall, 0-1 Big East) turned it over on downs.
It was the fourth consecutive 100-yard game for Jamison dating to last season, the longest string of 100-yard efforts by a Rutgers player since Ray Rice had seven straight to end the 2007 season.
Mark Harrison scored on a 6-yard reception, Federico also kicked field goals of 51 and 30 yards, and Rutgers (3-0, 1-0) forced four turnovers — three while the Scarlet Knights were taking control in the third quarter.
Marcus Cooper recovered a fumble on a punt return to set up a field goal and Jamal Merrell’s interception led to Nova’s TD pass to Harrison that put Rutgers ahead 13-6 midway through the third. The Scarlet Knights clung to the lead heading into the fourth quarter, thanks to Wayne Warren’s end zone interception that stopped a drive B.J. Daniels led to the 5-yard line.
No conference team has had more success against USF since the Bulls entered the Big East in 2005 than Rutgers, which has won six of the past seven meetings.
Daniels completed 15 of 33 passes for 242 yards for USF, which fell to 0-9 in Thursday night TV appearances. The senior threw three interceptions and didn’t get the Bulls into the end zone until he completed a 30-yard pass to Derrick Hopkins, setting up Demetri Murray’s 1-yard TD run to make it 13-all with 9 minutes to play.
Nova was 23 of 42 with one interception. Tim Wright had eight receptions for 125 yards, including a 46-yarder that led to Federico’s go-ahead field goal.
Maikon Bonani kicked field goals of 41 and 46 yards to help USF to a 6-3 halftime lead.
HUSKERS PAY WELL
Nebraska is paying Arkansas State $1 million for playing at Memorial Stadium on Saturday – the highest amount ever guaranteed to an opponent for a game in Lincoln, Neb.
Athletic director Tom Osborne said the price is the “going rate” for many teams to play an away game with no return engagement.
Nebraska paid Southern Mississippi $300,000 for the Sept. 1 opener, but the Huskers will play an away game against the Golden Eagles next year. Idaho State, a Football Championship Subdivision program, will earn $600,000 for visiting next week.
Last year, Ohio State paid Colorado $1.4 million and Alabama wrote Kent State a check for $1.2 million. Florida Atlantic is getting $1 million per game at Georgia this week and Alabama the next.
The season opener between Oregon State and Nicholls State that was postponed because of concerns over Hurricane Isaac has been rescheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1, at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore. However, the game won’t be played if Oregon State is in the Pac-12 championship game or Nicholls State qualifies for the NCAA FCS playoffs. … On Saturday, 77-year-old NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff will be honored during ninth-ranked West Virginia’s game against James Madison in Landover, Md. The Mountaineers alum will be an honorary captain and will be recognized before the game and at halftime. It’s being billed as “Sam Huff Day.”