Time management, kick returns, injuries, etc.

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano explains why he chose to burn two timeouts in the final minute as Connecticut was driving and the Scarlet Knights were trying to protect a four-point lead in Saturday's 28-24 win over the Huskies. Also, Devin McCourty discusses his kick return for a touchdown and Schiano addresses the injury sitaution, including one to a Rutgers starter.

EAST HARTFORD – The move was unconventional, but Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said it was based on the way the Scarlet Knights defense was giving up yards in the second half.

With Connecticut in position to score a go-ahead touchdown in the final minute, Schiano burned two timeouts, and it turned out to be a masterful job of clock management as the Scarlet Knights had time to counter the Huskies' touchdown with 38 seconds left when Tim Brown scored in an 81-yard reception 16 seconds later.

"If you look at the end of the half, I think they had (165) yards,'' Schiano said after Rutgers' 28-24 win against UConn on Saturday at Rentschler Field. "I really felt like we were playing great defense. In the second half, I didn't feel that way.

"I felt like they had done some things we …even on the final drive, though, we stopped them on three of the four plays, but we don't stop them on fourth twice. ‘'

UConn had 316 yards of offense in the second half, but used its last timout 1:11 to play.

Schiano's first timeout came with 49 seconds left, after the Huskies moved to Rutgers' 2-yard line on first down. Andre Dixon rushed for no gain on second down, and again Schiano called timeout.

Following an incomplete pass on third down, the Huskies scored on fourth down. But rather than mere seconds remaining for Rutgers to rally, there was time for Scarlet Knights to move the ball into field goal position.

"We were not able to close them out on defense,'' Schiano said, "and I really felt (the touchdown run) was a good play call and they executed it well.''

Of course, it wasn't necessary as quarterback Tom Savage and Brown connected for the longest play from scrimmage the Scarlet Knights this season.

He chase, you chase
Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty opened the game with 98-yard kickoff return, and he outran UConn's Robbie Frey to get to the end zone. In the second quarter, the roles were reversed.

Frey returned a kick 100 yards, and had just enough speed to beat a closing-from-behind McCourty to the corner of the end zone.

"I've never seen that, two guys chasing each other to keep each other out of the end zone,'' McCourty said. "Our guys up front did a great job (on the 98 yarder). They made a nice seam, and it's my job to hit it. Now, I kind of owe those guys a gift or something.''

It was the Scarlet Knights' first kickoff return for a touchdown since Willie Foster returned one 93 yards against Villanova on Sept. 10, 2005.

Williams sighting
Freshman running back DeAntwan Williams got his first carries of the season when a game wasn't' a blowout when he had three second-quarter carries. He totaled seven yards, but was able to burrow his way through a crease to pick up positive yards on each attempt.

"He's practiced well the last two weeks,'' Schiano said. "I thought he deserved (it). As I've said before, these guys earn the right to play. They earn the right to get touches. The last two weeks, I thought he's earned the right.

"I thought he did well when he was in there. It's going to be great for him to watch that tape. Now, that's real carries. That isn't fourth quarter, up-by-30 carries. Those are real carries against a very good defense.''

Safety help needed?
Rutgers starting free safety Zaire Kitchen missed much of the second half with a knee injury, and his backup, Khaseem Greene, went down in the closing minutes with a leg injury.

"Our secondary got banged up in that second half,'' Schiano said. "I don't know the extent of those injuries. Probably will Monday.''

It helps the Scarlet Knights do not play again until Nov. 12, when South Florida visits Rutgers Stadium, but it could leave the secondary short. Patrick Kivlehan, just back from an ankle injury, could move into a much larger role.

Odds and ends
Rutgers receiver Tim Brown had touchdown catches of 37 and 81 yards, giving him 16 touchdown receptions in his career. It ties him for third in school history, one shy of the record. Kenny Britt and Chris Brantley each had 17. …Savage became the first true freshman quarterback to win a Big East game for Rutgers. … Rutgers last won a game in the final minute when it beat Louisville 28-25 on Nov. 8, 2006. …McCourty's kick return was Rutgers' sixth non-offensive touchdown this season.


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