PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Freshman Jawan Jamison rushed for a career-high 200 yards and two touchdowns and surprising Rutgers moved into a share of first place in the Big East Conference with a 20-3 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday.
Picked to finish last in the conference's preseason poll, Rutgers (8-3, 4-2) limited Cincinnati to a season-low 225 total yards while holding sophomore Munchie Legaux to 158 yards passing in his first start for the injured Zach Collaros.
Jamison carried 34 times and scored on runs of 12 and 1 yard as the Scarlet Knights handed the Bearcats (7-3, 3-2) their second straight loss and snapped a five-game losing streak against them. It also avenged a 69-38 loss last season, a game in which Cincinnati had 661 yards in total offense.
The victory moved Rutgers into a tie for first place in the league with Louisville (6-5, 4-2), which beat Connecticut Saturday. Cincinnati, West Virginia and Pittsburgh are a half game back.
The Scarlet Knights, who finish their regular season at Connecticut next weekend, need to have idle West Virginia lose one of their last two league games to have any chance at winning the league crown and getting the BCS bid for the league.
Playing the conference's best offense and the nation's second-best run defense, Rutgers dominated in both areas.
The Scarlet Knights gained 385 yards, including 212 on the ground against a team that was giving up an average of 81.4 yards. The attack also showed in time of possession with Rutgers finishing with 38:14.
Jamison gave the Scarlet Knights the lead, scoring on his12-yard run two plays after Brandon Jones sacked Legaux (12 of 31 with one interception) and forced a fumble that Justin Francis recovered.
Tony Miliano cut the deficit to 7-3 with a 47-yard field goal after Cincinnati could generate only 18 yards in eight plays after getting the ball at the Rutgers 48 following a short punt.
Rutgers pushed the lead back to seven points when San San Te capped a 23-play, 82-yard second-quarter march that consumed close to 10 minutes. Chas Dodd (19 of 33 for 173 yards) converted three third-down passes on the drive and Jamison converted two other third downs with short runs.
After getting a first and goal at the Bearcats 1, Cincinnati brought down fullback Michael Burton for a 4-yard loss and Rutgers had to settle for three points.
Jamison pushed the lead to 17-3 midway through the third quarter capping an 11-play, 94 yard drive on which he has runs of 22 and 29 yards with his short TD run.
Te added a 43 yard field goal in the fourth quarter that was set up by a 35-yard run by Jamison.
The game was Rutgers' final home contest this season and the seniors were introduced before the game. The loudest cheer was reserved for Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed last October making a tackle in a game against Army at the Meadowlands.