Ranked again: RU No. 25

Rutgers latest effort in front of the nation certainly swayed the voters. The Scarlet Knights checked in at No. 25 in this week's Associated Press poll after Thursday's 31-0 dismantling of then-No. 23 South Florida. The Scarlet Knights also are bowl eligible for a fifth straight season, and still have games remaining at Syracase and Louisville and home vs. West Virginia.

Rutgers got more than virtually being guaranteed a trip to a fifth straight bowl with Thursday's 31-0 thrashing of then-No. 23 South Florida on national television. The Scarlet Knights received national recognition.

So much so Rutgers returned to the ranks of the ranked, slotting in at No. 25 in this week's Associated Press top 25 poll.

It is the first time Rutgers is ranked since the Oct. 21, 2007, poll when the Scarlet Knights were also No. 25. That season, the Scarlet Knights climbed to as high as No. 10 before losing to Maryland 34-24.

Rutgers eked out the spot by one point over North Carolina, which totaled 144 points. Not only did South Florida drop from the rankings, the Bulls did not receive a single vote after being held to seven first downs and 159 yards of total offense by the Scarlet Knights.

The Scarlet Knights' focus now is on Saturday's game at Syracuse, but achieving bowl eligibility for a fifth straight year, and with three games remaining, is something freshman quarterback Tom Savage is excited about.

"It does feel awesome to be bowl-eligible, but we have more work to do before we start thinking about bowl games,'' Savage said. "We know the work we have left to do, but our team truly supports each other and will help one another down the final stretch of the season."

This is the fifth season the Scarlet Knights have been ranked, and third time under coach Greg Schiano. The Scarlet Knights debuted in the poll in 1961, and also were ranked in 1976, 2006 and 2007.

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