All the Scarlet Knights needed was a full season's worth of film and a month to prepare, but the offensive line dominated its opponent in a fashion that has not been seen in years.
Starting with success in the trenches, Rutgers pounded Iowa State, 27-13, in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl to finish the 2011 season on a high note.
Starting Desmond Wynn, Betim Bujari, Caleb Ruch, Art Forst and Kaleb Johnson, Rutgers held Iowa State without a sack and paved the way for an MVP performance from redshirt freshman Jawan Jamison at running back..
"[Running backs coach Chris Hewitt], he came to me at the half and said, ‘Greg, I don't think they can stop this kid," Schiano said. "I said, ‘well let's run him'. ... I was proud, he kind of chugged along."
Building on a breakout performance in the home finale against Cincinnati, Jamison's efficient blend of vision, power and agility was too much for the Cyclones.
"They were incredible," Jamison said of the offensive line after running for 131 yards and two touchdowns. "I don't think we had any sacks, any hurry-ups. The quarterback had a lot of time. I had huge holes to go either way."
Iowa State's hurry-up offense had the Rutgers defense off balance for the first quarter, but Rutgers responded to back-to-back field goals with three quarters of big plays.
Iowa State had multiple drives after the first quarter, but scored just seven points after that. Defensive tackle Justin Francis blocked a field goal, linebacker Steve Beauharnais picked off a pass at midfield and the defense totaled three sacks and 10 TFLs.
Slightly less noticed, sophomore cornerback Logan Ryan is already making a case to be a top cornerback in the Big East next season. Ryan held top ISU receiver Darius Reynolds to two catches and saved two potential touchdowns.
On a throwback to quarterback Jared Barnett, Ryan batted the pass down with nothing between Barnett and the end zone. Ryan saved another touchdown with a solid solo tackle on a kick return in the first quarter.
"I am really, really proud of Logan Ryan," Schiano said. "Not only about today, but the way -- coming off the Carolina game, which was the second game of the year, Logan Ryan was at a crossroads. he was no longer a young pup who could use that as a red-shirting excuse and all of that.
"He's a very talented kid, and he got a chance after that game. He got a chance and he made the most of it, and he's had a tremendous season."
Dodd, who made the pass of the game on an 86-yarder to Brandon Coleman, started the game and finished with 176 yards and a touchdown.
After an abysmal 2010 season, Rutgers (9-4), finishes with twice as many wins. Since winning the Texas Bowl in 2006, Rutgers has not lost a bowl game, making the Pinstripe its fifth win in the last six years.
"It gives me hope," Schiano said of the future. "It gives me hope that we will have a good football team moving forward. it's not the start of everything; we have been a pretty consistent program, going to bowl games, winning bowl games and we have to get to the next level."