Because after all, this was Rutgers and fittingly, a 31-27 Rutgers lead evaporated into a final score of 41-31 as Walter Reyes scored on a 21-yard run with 2:24 left and Damien Rhodes added a 3-yard run with 1:02 left in the game. Reyes finished the day with 19 carries for 237 yards and 2 TD's and Rhodes added 10 carries for 102 yards and also 2 TD's.
The game started ominously as Syracuse jumped to a 10-0 lead on a Damien Rhodes 44-yard touchdown run and a 40-yard field goal before Rutgers woke-up. A 7-yard TD pass from Ryan Hart to Clark Harris and a 26-yard Jeremy Ito field goal tied it up at 10, before Collin Barber hit a 25-yard field goal right before the half to make it 13-10 in favor of Syracuse. After exchanging possessions to open the 3rd quarter, Rutgers put together a 12-play, 86 yard scoring drive, its longest of the season culminated by a Justice Hairston 1-yard run to put Rutgers up 17-13. Syracuse came back with a Walter Reyes 23-yard touchdown run and regained the lead at 20-17. Rutgers came right back with it's second sustained drive of the quarter, an 11-play, 80 yard drive finished off by an 8-yard TD catch by Clark Harris.
Rutgers saw its lead change hands on Perry Patterson's only touchdown pass of the game, as Greg Hanoian caught a 4-yard pass in the end zone to enable the Orange to regain the lead at 27-24. Rutgers then went up 31-27 with 3:58 remaining.
Rutgers fell to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in Big East play. A trip to Nashville awaits the Knights to play the Commodores of Vanderbilt who beat up on Mississippi State 31-13.
Schiano Quotes: On the number of missed tackles, "The tough thing is coming off a bye week, we stressed fundamentals and to come out here and have the number of missed tackles we had is disappointing. We didn't tackle well enough to win this game."
On Ryan Hart, "I told him. It is time for you to take your next step as a quarterback and he did it. I thought Ryan played very well. He played without his two top receivers and Tres was in and out of the game health wise. Ryan made a number of plays as he was being hit."
On the defense in general, "There are a lot of positives to take away from this game "I know it sounds crazy when you give up 370 yards on the ground , but our defense is close. We just didn't get it done."
On the delay of game after the time-out with 3:58 left, "I want to check the tape because the clock said one second when the whistle blew. But the penalty is my fault."
When asked about the teams inability to cover the misdirection plays, "It was a combination of missed tackles and people not being where they should of been."
On the injury to Sameeh McDonald, "This is not a forgiving surface, I'll tell you that. The field is 11 years old and it is borderline bad. It reminds me of the old bubble playing field."
Ryan Hart surpassed the 4,000 yard mark, becoming just the fourth Rutgers QB in history to do so.
True freshman Dimitri Linton had his first carry as a collegiate, a five-yard carry in the first quarter. Jean Beljour, another true freshman. caught a 12-yard pass in the second quarter giving Rutgers a first and goal.