By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – Facing a third and 34 on their own 12-yard line, things couldn’t get much worse for Rutgers’ offense.
Two plays earlier, a screen pass bounced off Jawan Jamison’s hands and was ruled a backwards lateral. The fumble set the Scarlet Knights back 19 yards. A delay of game penalty tacked on five more yards.
The offense was stagnant and it was third and a mile. So the play call was a run. Despite the early struggles, there wasn’t a doubt in Jawan Jamison’s mind he’d be moving the chains.
“I’m thinking ‘I got to get the first down,’” Jamsion said.
Seven broken tackles, a couple of cutbacks and shimmies later, Jamsion did just that with a 64-yard run. It was the spark that lit the fire under Rutgers’ struggling offense in their 26-0 victory over Howard.
“It was really big,” Gary Nova said of the play. “We were kind of at a stalemate point. Things we were doing weren’t really going right. And that big run kind of got us going. Jawan’s a big play guy and he’s going to keep doing that the rest of the year.”
Which is just fine for Jamison. In fact, it’s something the redshirt sophomore is looking forward to.
“When it comes down to it, and the pressure’s on me, I feel really good,” Jamison said. “I feel like if they need me and they come to me I’m going to get it done and I like it. I love it.”
It was a dream run for Jamison, getting to do what he likes to do best.
“I pride myself on my balance and staying up and my ability to make guys miss and break tackles,” Jamison said.
With only 10 carries in the game, it was the bulk of his 110-yard performance.
And gaining 100 yards is becoming a regular occurrence for Jamison. He’s done it in four of the past five games. It’s also his third in a row, which is the first time a Rutgers running back has done that since Ray Rice in 2007.
“To be consistent with that, it feels good,” Jamison said. “It’s awesome to let everyone know it wasn’t a fluke with last game being a 100-yard game it wasn’t a fluke. We’re just going to keep it going, keep building on it.”
Which Jamison feels like Rutgers can. Especially with the chemistry he’s building with the guys paving the way for him.
“The seven of us are starting to show consistency,” Jamsion said. “The o-line, I feel like they’re doing a great job and my fullback, I feel like he’s doing a tremendous job leading me into the holes.”
And as soon as he gets through those holes, Jamison is breaking tackles and making guys miss. Being that dynamic playmaker. The guy that hits those home run plays.
“I have to be [a playmaker]. And I pride myself on it. I want to do the best I can for my team,” Jamsion said. “And I tell my o-line if they give me their best I’ll give them my best.”