"He's a freak of nature," said backup quarterback Gary Nova, who completed one pass to Sanu during his drive. "There's not many guys like him around the country. ... I've never seen anybody like Mo. He works so hard in practice. There's no surprise when he does stuff like this." Time after time, Sanu simply beat out the Ohio coverage and made the play.
"Yes, we did (try different things to stop Sanu)," said Ohio head coach Frank Solich. "It really didn't work. I thought their quarterback played well. He had the one interception, but I thought he played well. They have a good guy that seems to be composed and reads routes and coverages well and he gets the ball where it needs to be. Obviously, they design things for (Sanu)." Savon Huggins, announced as the starting running back for the first time, struggled early and had his repetitions take a major hit thanks to a strong performance from Jawan Jamison.
Huggins fumbled the ball on his first touch of the game and did so again in the red-zone for a turnover.
Jamison gladly stepped in and had the best day of his young career. The red-shirt freshman got his first opportunity to make plays in a close game and did exactly that. The shifty Florida running back went for a career high 97 yards on 29 attempts.
After struggling to run the ball in the first two games, Rutgers (2-1) started Betim Bujari and Kaleb Johnson on the right side of the offensive line. The personnel changes on the line and in the backfield allowed the Scarlet Knights to a season-best 3.7 yards per carry.
"It felt so good to finally get out there and actually get a chance," Jamison said. "... We have a three-headed monster. Me ,Savon and Deering. Every team we play has to look out for us." The Ohio (3-1) offense gave the Rutgers defense trouble, as coach Greg Schiano predicted. The defense surrendered a season-worst 26 points against the Bobcats.
Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton came as advertised, throwing for 339 yards and three touchdowns.
"We usually don't win a game with as many big plays as we gave up," Schiano said. "So we have a lot of work to do."
Like so many other times under Schiano, special teams provided the deciding play in a Rutgers victory.
Safety Wayne Warren popped the ball out of the punt returner's hands with two minutes left in the first half. With the ball on the ground, linebacker Ka'Lial Glaud came out of the scrum with possession, fumbled the ball forward and cornerback Marcus Cooper scooped-and-scored to go ahead 21-10.
"We play an attacking style on special teams and on defense so I hope we can create takeaways," Schiano said. "I think we have really great wide receivers that we can get involved – it is not by choice that we are not. In the first three games we have left some offense on the field. We have dropped some passes and other things. When those things start registering – today we threw a couple deep balls a little bit outside – those things can be quick scores. Those are the kind of things that help open up games."