By Matt Sugam
No. 22 Rutgers defeated Cincinnati 10-3 to remain in sole possession of first place in the Big East. Here’s what we learned.
1. Rutgers is a legitimate team.
It’s not to say they weren’t before this game. But at 8-1 heading into the game, they hadn’t beaten an FBS team with a winning record. Well, they have now. And did so on the road in what was their toughest test of the season.
2. Savon Huggins can be a feature back.
Coming in as the No. 1 recruit in New Jersey two years ago, Huggins was expected to be the feature back by now. But due to injuries and Jawan Jamison running away with the job, he hasn’t lived up to the hype and hasn’t gotten much of an opportunity to do so. Well with Jamison (ankle) out, Huggins got that opportunity. And made the most of it. He had a career-high in carries (41) and yards (179 yards).
3. Rutgers’ defense really is as good as advertised.
This was the biggest test of the season for Rutgers (aside from Arkansas where they got torched). They passed with flying colors. Cincinnati came into the game averaging 34.2 points per game. The No. 1 offense in the Big East was held well below that average today.
4. The slow starts continue for Rutgers.
They averaged 8.4 points in the first half going into the game. They only scored seven in the first 30 minutes against Cincinnati. (Which could have been at least 13 if not for two red zone interceptions thrown by Gary Nova). It’s been an issue all season, and clearly one that hasn’t been solved yet.
5. Rutgers can win at Cincinnati.
They were just 1-6-1 all-time at Nippert Stadium heading into the game and hadn’t won there since the Bearcats joined the Big East. It was a hurdle they needed to clear en route to that elusive Big East Title and they did just that.