What he got, however, was a sloppy 11-penalty performance. Despite winning 23-13, the 11 penalties put Rutgers at 10.3 per game heading into the toughest contest on the schedule.
"I can't say that I'm completely surprised by it," Flood said. "I didn't want to overreact to it. We have to get better with jumping offsides on defense. That's never acceptable. … I think it's a couple of things. It's a highly intense environment. I think you have to give their defense credit as well. I think some of those penalties on our offensive line are attributed to the athleticism that you're playing against."
Facing SEC athleticism and an SEC crowd, shutting down the penalties will be a top goal for the Scarlet Knights heading into Fayetteville, Ark., next weekend.
"I've never coached down in Arkansas, but I certainly have seen their games on TV from time to time," Flood said. "They're going to have a great atmosphere down there. We're looking forward to it and hopefully now that we have a road game, … we'll handle it a little better next week.
Jamison's Big Day
Running back Jawan Jamison had plenty of energy left last night to speak to the media after his performance. With a school record 41 carries and a fourth straight 100-yard game, Jamison keeps hearing Ray Rice mentioned.
This time, it was by his head coach.
"I think when you have a running back, who you think can affect the game, you want to give him as many [chances] as you can to do that," Flood said. "We certainly did that with Ray [Rice] iin the past and I felt, with [Savon Huggins] not being available, we would need to do that with Jawan."
Jamison now has 383 yards on his quest for 1,000 and can expect another heavy workload against Arkansas.
"You're never going to hear a guy like Jawan Jamison say, ‘coach don't give it to me again,'" Flood said. "He always wants the ball again and I don't think that will change next week."
Alexander's First Start
Right guard Taj Alexander was one of two penalty-free offensive lineman in last night's game. Making his first career start, Alexander impressed Flood on film.
"I think Taj played a solid game," Flood said. "I think there's going to be some things that he sees on film and [offensive line coach Damian Wroblewski] sees on film that they're going to want to get corrected, but I thought he really held up very well against a really good interior defensive line for South Florida."
Nova's Big Step
Quarterback Gary Nova said he took a step forward with his 277-yard, turnover free night. Flood, who has been supportive of Nova through a rocky start to his sophomore season, loved what he saw against the Bulls.
"I'm very pleased I felt like he did the three things I always ask him to do," Flood said. "When I talk to Gary it's always the same things – protect the ball, complete the ball and run the team and I thought he protected the ball very well. I thought he ran the team tremendously well last night in a hostile environment and I think he completed the ball better than he had completed the ball."
Justin Doerner took over for J.T. Tartacoff because of injury, not because of another mishandled snap, Flood said. Doerner will continue to work as the holder as Tartacoff heals up from a dislocated finger.
"We didn't make the change because we wanted to," Flood said. "We made the change because we had to."
Day of Rest
Rutgers will be off today and tomorrow to rehab and enjoy a victory before getting back to work Sunday to prepare for Arkansas.
"I like to get going after the game, regardless of the result," Flood said. "It's certainly much easier to move on when you win. Regardless of the result, you have to move on and next week brings some matchups, different schemes, different problems."
Flood will address the team's health Monday at his press conference after a weekend to assess.
He is optimistic about the return of Huggins (leg), he said, but expects to have more information after the weekend.