Red-shirt sophomore tailback Joe Martinek ran for 139 yards and scored two touchdowns, and the Scarlet Knights scored on a blocked a punt en route to a 27-10 fumble-fest win against Army on Friday at Michie Stadium in nasty, wet conditions, marking Rutgers' sixth straight win in the series.
Scarlet Knights quarterback Tom Savage was 10 of 20 for 164 yards, although he was victimized by a few drops and also missed several open receivers for big plays.
"I know I missed a lot of open guys,'' Savage said. "I feel like I took a step getting a ‘W' in that first away game. When I was walking out there I kind of got chills a little bit because I had never been in an away game and it just didn't feel real for me.''
"It was nice to get back and get a win, and get back on that track,'' said Rutgers safety Khaseem Greene, who made five tackles. "I thought we played well defensively, and did a good job.''
It was a strong response for Rutgers (5-2), which was coming off a loss to Pittsburgh, as the Scarlet Knights survived heavy rain in the first half and a chilly wind after the break.
"(The conditions) were not as bad as they may have looked,'' Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "We dropped a few (passes), but it varied, too. The rain picked up at times, but we came out for the second half and it stopped.
"I thought our players did a very good job of staying in the moment and not letting anything get in the way, whether it was circumstance or weather or whatever it was.''
"That thing with A.D. is done and finished,'' Schiano said. "He just had one thing and we have consequences for that, and now it's behind us.''
Rutgers fumbled three times, losing one of them. However, turnovers were Army's undoing. The Black Knights (3-5) fumbled four times, and lost three of them.
But the biggest blunder came from Army's punter, Jonathan Bull, which dropped a snap and by the time he picked it up, was swarmed by the Scarlet Knights. Freshman Steve Beauharnais was credited with the block, and he scooped up the football and raced 11 yards for a touchdown on the last play of the first-quarter to give Rutgers a 17-3 lead.
"I thought we were playing well, but that was certainly a big play,'' Schiano said. "I thought the takeaways were critical. They fumbled the ball 21 times going into the game, but only lost six. We talked all week that we're going to make them put it on the ground, but we've got to be there to get the football. I thought the kids did a good job of that.''
Army's triple-option rushing attack mounted 213 yards, but broke only a few big runs and repeatedly found itself in third-and-long situations. And for the nation's worst passing attack, that didn't bode well.
Black Knights quarterback Trent Steelman, who ran for 43 yards, finished 2 of 6 for 16 yards passing.
Army led 3-0 after an opening drive field goal, but Rutgers methodically drove down as Savage completed two big pass plays on third down before Martinek finished the drive with a 4-yard run.
Te added a 27-yard field goal before Beauharnais' punt block and score.
"I thought Tom played well,'' Schiano said. "He stayed in the pocket, moved in the pocket. That's a very good defense. That's the 17th ranked defense in the country and they do some different things. I thought Tom had a very good outing.''
Martinek added a 6-yard touchdown run in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to put Rutgers ahead 27-10 and clinch the win.
"They have a very good defensive front. They are relentless,'' Rutgers center Ryan Blaszczyk said. "I think during the game our size was able to wear them down, and we were able to run it better in the second half.''