Rutgers 38, Villanova 6
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP)—Ryan Hart completed 16 of 22 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown as Rutgers snapped a six-game losing streak Saturday with a 38-6 victory over Villanova.
Brian Leonard scored two touchdowns for Rutgers (1-1), which ended a two-game losing streak to Division I-AA opponents and avenged a 2002 setback to Villanova (0-1). It also was the Scarlet Knights first win since they beat Temple on Oct. 16, 2004.
The defeat was made tougher for the Wildcats, who had won their last two against I-A teams, when junior quarterback Marvin Burroughs left early in the third quarter. Burroughs injured his left shoulder at the end of a 7-yard run and was taken to the hospital for X-rays.
Attempting to rebound after blowing a 20-point lead in a loss to Illinois last week, Rutgers got off to a strong start when Willie Foster returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. It was the longest kickoff return for Rutgers since Gary Melton took one back 94 yards against Northwestern on Sept. 21, 1991.
Villanova, which outgained Rutgers 444-327, cut the lead to 7-6 when Burroughs threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to John Dieser. But Val Barnaby blocked the extra point attempt.
The Scarlet Knights scored on their next two possessions, getting a 2-yard run from Leonard and a 44-yard field goal from Jeremy Ito, who missed four of seven last week.
On Rutgers’ next possession, coach Greg Schiano gave Mike Teel his first experience at quarterback, and the redshirt freshman came through. Teel engineered an 88-yard drive that was capped by Ray Rice’s 11-yard touchdown run. Teel was 3-for-5 for 42 yards on the drive.
In the third quarter, Villanova tried a fake punt but was stopped, giving Rutgers the ball at midfield. Three plays later, Hart found Clark Harris with a 15-yard touchdown pass to make it 31-6. Leonard’s second touchdown later in the quarter capped the scoring.
Hart broke the Rutgers career record for completions. The senior has 623, breaking Scott Erney’s 16-year mark of 614.
Tres Moses caught seven passes for 114 yards for Rutgers and Harris had four catches for 69 yards. Rice gained 64 yards on 13 carries, and Leonard had 51 on 14.
Burroughs was 16-for-22 for 150 yards and one touchdown before leaving the game. He also ran for 20 yards on six carries. His replacement Frank Jankowski was 17-for-32 for 209 yards in his first collegiate action, and J.J. Outlaw caught nine passes for 91 yards.