10 Things We Learned...Howard

It was an easy win for Rutgers (1-1) over Howard (0-1) on Saturday, as the Scarlet Knights got into the win column with a 45-7 trouncing of the Bison. But were there any lessons coming out of this mismatch? Sure there were, which is why we're back with 10 Things We Learned Last Week.

1. QB Tom Savage passed his first test.
The true freshman made a few mistakes under center in his first start, but he also put up some impressive passing numbers versus Howard in Week 2. Savage completed eight of 13 passes (61.5 percent) for 223 yards and two touchdowns and zero interceptions in just over two quarters of play. He could have had a third TD if not for a dropped pass, but he also could have had at least one interception if Howard was a step quicker.

2. Rutgers owns the MEAC.
In games against the Football Championship Subdivision Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Rutgers is a perfect 4-0 over the last four seasons. RU has outscored Howard, Norfolk State and Morgan State 198-14 in those contests.

3. The RU defense really needed this performance.
A week after allowing 564 and 47 points against Cincinnati, the Scarlet Knights limited Howard to just 264 total yards and only seven points. It was a step in the right direction for a defense that sorely needs a boost of confidence. But there are still plenty of question marks, as mentioned in the next point.

4. The Scarlet Knights still have trouble with misdirection.
RU kept Howard in check most of the game, but the Bison still managed seven gains of at least 15 yards through a mixture of counters, slants and crossing routes. The biggest defensive bust for RU was a 40-yard touchdown pass from Floyd Haigler to Willie Carter midway through the second quarter when Carter was wide open. Florida International operates out of the shotgun and uses speed and misdirection to its advantage, so RU has plenty to work on defensively.

5. RB Jourdan Brooks feasts on MEAC opponents.
The redshirt sophomore tailback has scored six touchdowns against MEAC schools the last two seasons. Brooks ran for 124 and three touchdowns on 17 rushes against Howard for an average of 7.3 yards per rush. Last year, he carried the ball 18 times for 65 yards and three TDs.

6. WR Tim Brown seems to get faster every year.
RU's senior receiver hauled in three receptions for 132 yards and two TDs versus Howard and now has 10 catches for 218 yards on the season. Brown, who averages 21.8 yards per reception through two games, was easily behind the Howard defense most of the day.

7. When you see Gerry McGinn, expect penalty calls.
It seems every time Rutgers sees the Big East referee, his crew calls a preponderance of penalties. The Howard game was no exception, as officials flagged the Bison early and often. The final tally: 19 total penalties for 162 yards (Howard was called 14 times for 121 yards).

8. RB De'Antwan Williams looks special.
True, he played in the second half of a blowout against an FCS school, but Williams -- a true freshman -- hit the hole aggressively and quickly versus the Bison. He appears to have great vision and the ability to bounce the play outside for big gains. It will be interesting to watch him develop.

9. The jury is still out on the starting offensive line.
RU rolled up 245 yards rushing and 468 yards of total offense against Howard, but the Knights seemed to struggle to move the ball between the tackles at times. An important statistic, however: a week after allowing five sacks, the Scarlet Knights yielded zero versus the Bison.

10. The game was over when . . .
Brown caught a bomb from Savage and walked into the end zone for a 68-yard TD less than five minutes into the second quarter. The San San Te extra point made the score 32-0 in favor of the Scarlet Knights. RU would keep the pressure on for the remainder of the quarter before building a 42-7 halftime advantage.


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