Notes: Kitchen's hit, Graves' injury and more

Rutgers safety Zaire Kitchen delivered one of the big hits in the Scarlet Knights' 34-14 win Friday at Louisville, and following it the Cardinals responded by going after the senior. Also, tight end Shamar Graves was taken to the hospital after getting hit in the left side in the third quarter. Tim Brown reached another milestone and there was a new starter at linebacker.

As the game clock ticked down and players headed toward midfield for the traditional post-game mingle, Rutgers free safety Zaire Kitchen was flanked by a pair of New Jersey state troopers and walked toward the Scarlet Knights locker room.

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano didn't want any problems during the post-game meet-and-greet, which meant getting Kitchen out of the way.

The senior became a focal point in Rutgers' 34-14 win at Louisville on Friday late in the third quarter when his jarring hit on Doug Beaumont knocked the junior receiver out of the game.

Beaumont remained motionless on the ground for several minutes, and was taken off the field via stretcher. As he was leaving the field, he gave a "thumbs up'' sign to the crowd, but on the next play Kitchen became a target.

After an incomplete pass to Scott Long along the right sideline, Cardinals tight end Cameron Graham blind-sided Kitchen from behind. Kitchen quickly got up and went toward Graham, but was restrained by freshman linebacker Steve Beauharnais.

"I know I didn't lead with my head,'' Kitchen said. "I don't go out there to intentionally hurt anybody.''

A CT-scan was negative and Graham was diagnosed with a sprained neck and shoulder, and was back on the sideline as the game ended.

"The guy lowered his head and the crown came right in on him,'' Louisville quarterback Adam Froman said. "I don't want to get into it too much, but it happened a few times that game.''

Kitchen was flagged for a personal foul for a helmet-leading tackle, according to the game officials, but replays showed Kitchen hit Beaumont with his right shoulder. Afterward, Kitchen had his right shoulder iced.

"There's not a bad bone in Zaire Kitchen's body,'' said Schiano, who added he did not see the hit. "It's one of those things. It's a contact sport. I pray for the young man that went down. …I heard it was a shoulder blow, a clean hit.

"I was very pleased with our team. They kept their composure, and they kept their focus. There were some shenanigans going on out there after that, and our guys just played football and stayed in the moment.''

Graves hospitalized
Rutgers tight end Shamar Graves was taken to a local hospital after the game. He was hit in the left side on a play over the middle on Rutgers' first possession of the second half. Graves was reaching for a pass by quarterback Tom Savage.

Schiano said Graves, who did not leave until the game's conclusion, was being check for internal injuries.

"In here,'' Schiano said while motioning to his side. "I'm not sure what it is.''

Test on Graves' spleen were negative and he joined the team on the plane ride home, according to an official.

Brown's latest milestone
There were concerns whether Tim Brown's size would keep him from being a go-to receiver this season, but he long ago erased those.

And in his latest big performance, the 5-foot-7, 165-pound Brown joined select company by becoming the fourth player in Rutgers history to reach 1,000 receiving yards for the season. Brown did it with a 24-yard completion with eight minutes left in the second quarter.

"He deserves it,'' Schiano said. "It's not been easy. He was a guy who battled. Tim Brown has done a lot for Rutgers, and Rutgers has done a lot for Tim Brown. It's really a good thing, and he's got two more (games) left.''

Brown finished with seven catches for 124 yards and a touchdown. He has 51 catches for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns.

And he played with a sore left ankle, which he injured a week ago at Syracuse.

"Timmy showed a lot of guts,'' Schiano said. "Not only was he bumped this week, but something happened during pre-game where he tweaked it a little more. Quite frankly, when we ran out of the tunnel (before the game), I didn't know if he could play or not. I think he showed a lot of guts.''

Beauharnais for Lowery
With strongside linebacker Antonio Lowery nursing an undisclosed injury, freshman Steve Beauharnais made his second career start and had five tackles and a sack.

"(Lowery) was hurting this week,'' Schiano said. "Steve Beauharnais is a guy we've got to get on the field. I can't wait to watch the tape on the plane home because I hope he played the way I think he would have played, but I didn't watch him at all to be honest with you.''

Odds and ends
Rutgers defensive end Justin Francis, who had 1½ tackles for loss, was on crutches with a right leg injury after the game. …Scarlet Knights receiver Mark Harrison (head) did not make the trip. …Brown joins Kenny Britt (twice), Tres Moses and Tiquan Underwood as players to reach the 1,000-yard receiving plateau in a season.

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