Notebook: RBs, sliding Savage, ect.

Rutgers had an easy time in defeating Texas Southern 42-0 during Saturday's homecoming affair at Rutgers Stadium. Freshman De'Antwan Williams was the Scarlet Knights' leading rusher with 132 yards, but where does he stand now in the backfield race? Also, did QB Tom Savage learn his lesson about sliding? All the answers and much, much more are covered here in ScarletReport.com's game notebook.

Although freshman tailback De'Antwan Williams rushed for a career-high 132 yards, mostly in the fourth quarter, and a touchdown as Rutgers thrashed Texas Southern 42-0 Saturday, don't expect the pecking order of running backs to change at this point.

That was the message from Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano.

"When (Williams) got in there, he did well,'' Schiano said. "The yards are a little different at that part of the game, there's no doubt about that. But you can't take away his ability and his burst. He did well when he got his chance.

"Our two guys right now are Joe (Martinek) and Jourdan (Brooks). They've earned the right to be the two running backs. We wouldn't be playing De'Antwan if we didn't think he had a chance to be in the mix. We wouldn't use his red-shirt year. We think he can help us later in the year in the heart of the game.''

Starter Joe Martinek rushed for 51 yards on eight carries, and also scored twice, but didn't play much as he rested up for Friday's tilt against Pittsburgh. Jourdan Brooks, who didn't play until midway through the second quarter, finished with 38 yards on nine carries, and also scored on a 5-yard run.

Williams didn't enter until the closing minutes of the third quarter and Rutgers leading 35-0, but he made up for it with lots of work in a short amount of time. He ran 19 times, including showing off an impressive burst through the hole. He also scored on a 44-yard touchdown run.

"I think one of the biggest transitions from high school to college is just to learn the plays and be relaxed, and I feel I've really improved with that,'' Williams said. "I've been patient and have been learning the ins and outs of the game from week to week.

"Once I learn more and gain more confidence, I know I will get better. The key is to not get frustrated."

Williams also became the fourth member of the Scarlet Knights to rush for 100 yards in a game. Martinek and Brooks did it this season and Kordell Young did it last season.

Slide Tom, slide

It didn't take the Rutgers coaching staff long to tell quarterback Tom Savage they were unhappy with one part of his game …his willingness to take on tacklers rather than slide. It is an important subject after Savage missed the Sept. 26 game at Maryland with a concussion.

Twice, Savage scrambled and elected to put his shoulder down and drive into an opponent rather than slide and take the safe way out.

"The coaches did tell me I need to work on sliding,'' Savage said. "I was trying to get a few extra yards on some of the runs, but the coaches are right. I need to know when to slide, and when it's the right time to fight for extra yards.''

Pratt's debut

Palmyra (N.J) High product and true freshman Quron Pratt came to Rutgers as a cornerback, but made the move to receiver in training camp and has done well.

So much so Schiano felt comfortable with Pratt as the third receiver early in the game.

Pratt made his first career catch, a 14-yarder, and it came in front of his family.

"My mom and my grandfather and family were here, and they don't usually come,'' Pratt said. "Usually, they have to work, but I had a feeling I might play so I told them, and they came.''

However, not all was rosy with the debut. Pratt was open on a post pattern, but said he ran it too too low, which is why Savage overthrew him.

"I need to run that one more up the field,'' Pratt said. "That one was my fault.''

The search for third

The Scarlet Knights are looking for a consistent third receiver, and Julian Hayes, freshman Mark Harrison and Pratt each had shots there.

In fact, Hayes had two catches (25 yards) and Pratt added one catch. Entering the game, Hayes had the only reception by a receiver other than Tim Brown and Mohamed Sanu.

Come, again?

The Tigers were man-handled in many ways by Rutgers, but Texas Southern coach Johnnie Cole said he wouldn't mind coming back for a return game.

"As a matter of fact, I asked (Schiano) if we could come back next year,'' Cole said. "I have to be honest; they have a great team, well-coached football team. I felt that in that game from the first quarter to the last, we played with them. There were a couple of times where they over-powered us.

"And there were a couple of times where our defense got after them and made some things happen. …It gave our kids a measuring stick so they will know how to work next year when it's time to get in that weight room and get after it."

It probably helped the Tigers were given $400,000 to make the trip to Piscataway.


Odds and ends

After wondering for two weeks if defensive end George Johnson (ankle) and defensive tackle Charlie Noonan (illness) would play, both started. Red-shirt freshman linebacker Morgan Carter made his debut, playing on punt coverage. …Texas Southern quarterback Arvell Nelson was sacked seven times and hit numerous other times. "Yes, I got hit a few times,'' he said. "They are a good team, and when you play a good team, that is going to happen. I was ready for it and prepared for it coming into the game."


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