It is exactly what should have happened, and that it did is another sign of how different things are for the Scarlet Knights under first-year coach Mike Rice.
The 24-point win came with Rutgers playing a quartet of walk-ons in the final few minutes, and just two days after an emotional, confidence-building win against Miami.
"For a veteran group, this is what I expected," Rice said. "Guys coming out, not looking past any game, not looking past any possession. And I thought for only a day of preparation, they had a very good first half."
Rice knew there wasn't going to be a hangover issue after senior point guard Mike Cobrun talked to the team at practice about not overlooking Norfolk State.
"I started to talk about (the Miami) game and Mike stopped me and said that we have only won two games, and let's just focus, do what we have to do to get number three," Rice said. "Our seniors add so much, and again, that's why they're being so successful."
Coburn's rhetoric was followed up by his best performance of the season as he scored 12 points on 4 of 8 shooting, had seven assists and one turnover in 28 minutes.
Especially pleasing to Rice was Coburn's assist on the first basket of freshman Austin Carroll's career. He drove to the basket, and rather than leap into the air and put up an ill-advised shot or try to pass, he jump-stopped and found Carroll open in the corner.
Carroll made the shot to give Rutgers a 34-18 lead with 2:20 left in the first half.
"I've been here longer than everyone, and I'm very hungry to win games and feel good," Coburn said. "I want to have a good senior year. I'm just trying to bring guys along and they're doing a good job of buying in and working for each other. It shows on the court."
Norfolk State (1-3) was led by Rob Hampton's 19 points, but shot 36.8 percent in the first half. The Spartans never got closer than 20 points in the second half.
"They're a great defensive team," Norfolk State coach Anthony Evans said. "I think the first half they stopped us from penetrating. In the second half, we made a concerted effort to do better and we got to the free throw line, but I think they took away our penetration in our initial offenses."