Piscataway, NJ-The Scarlet Knights wrapped up their non-conference portion of its schedule by playing MEAC foe Morgan State to end a three game home stint. Rutgers opened up with a three-straight home games to start the season for the first time since 2009.
Rutgers forced four turnovers — three interceptions, including one by Hester that would have been returned for a touchdown if not for a block in the back penalty on the run-back in a 65-0 win against Morgan State at High Point Solutions Stadium in front of 39,892 fans.
Despite a 1-2 start, Rutgers defense was the spotlight of the day. It held Washington ranked #8 in the country to 30 points seven of which came on special teams and Eastern Michigan to 16 points.
Rutgers allowed 37.5 points per game last season, including four games where opponents scored 48 points or more. The Scarlet Knights completely upgraded their defense to a 4.0 version from last year team.
“We had a complete game plan today. It is a great week of practice and we had to put together a full game together. The defense really played lights out and it is great confidence builder for us going forward. Now it is off to our Big 10 schedule.” Rutgers quarterback Jonathan Lewis.
After both Washington and Eastern Michigan had success with the hurry-up offense, Rutgers was on guard for it against the Bears. Rutgers will definitely see this up tempo offense with its Big Ten opponents.
“We knew they were going to throw a lot of screens at us and go quick game,” Hester said. “If you stop the run and take away that, you eliminate their whole offense. It’s a huge boost for our defense. It gives us some momentum going into Big Ten play. That will help our ego.”
Rutgers racked up 352 yards on the ground and 152 through the air. Jonathan Lewis was the story of the game with 4 touchdowns and the ground and 1 through the air.
“It is great to get a win like this, we needed it badly. Yes we are 1-2 but that doesn’t matter now. Our season starts this week against Nebraska and if we can be successful in the B10 then thats what matters to me and my teammates. One game at a time.” Rutgers Kyle Bolin said.