PISCATAWAY, N.J. (October 26, 2013) – Rutgers football dropped a 49-14 contest against conference foe Houston Saturday afternoon at High Point Solutions Stadium. Freshman running back Justin Goodwin (Summit, N.J.) recorded his second 100-yard rushing game of theseason in the loss, recording career-highs in rushing attempts (31) and rushing yards (165).
After RU (4-3, 1-2) made it 14-14 late in the second quarter, the Cougars (6-1, 3-0) scored the final 35 points of regulation to secure the victory in front of Rutgers Homecoming crowd of 52,200.
“I would like to start by thanking the fans. I thought the fans were out in force today and I’m disappointed that we didn’t give them more to cheer about,” said head coach Kyle Flood. “We certainly did not have one of our better days. I have to compliment the University of Houston and Tony Levine’s team. I thought they were an excellent team coming in and certainly they proved that.”
After a Goodwin score made it 14-14 with 4:56 remaining in the second quarter, Houston responded with an 83-yard touchdown from Deontay Greenberry to take a 21-14 lead.
From there, the Cougars scored 28 more points en route to their third conference win. RU suffered from six turnovers in the loss.
Freshman Carlton Agudosi (Somerset, N.J.) hauled in the first two passes of his career to lead Rutgers in receiving with 59 yards.
Senior quarterback Chas Dodd (Lyman, S.C.) entered the game in the third quarter for junior Gary Nova (Elmwood Park, N.J.) and went 11-for-15 with 78 yards and an interception.
Nova was 7-for-15 with 138 yards and three interceptions before Dodd entered the game in the thirdquarter.
RU recorded a pair of sacks on Houston’s final drive of the first half, as junior defensive back Gareef Glashen (Miami, Fla.) sacked quarterback John O’Korn as time expired to make it 28-14 Houston entering the locker rooms.
The Cougars took advantage of RU’s third turnover of the game with 5:54 remaining in the first half, as O’Korn heaved his third touchdown pass in the period to put Houston ahead, 28-14.
Houston quickly responded after an RU score to make the game at 21-14 with 6:46 left in thehalf. O’Korn found Deontay Greenberry up the seam about 8 yards down field and Greenberry did the rest, sprinting 83 yards for a touchdown.
It was the longest play from scrimmage allowed by the Rutgers defense since Arkansas recorded an 80-yard touchdown on Sept. 22 of last season.
Goodwin scored hissecond touchdown of the day midway through the second quarter, bursting outside after reaching the edge for a 14-yard score. The touchdown scamper was his second of the day.
The touchdown gaveGoodwin his second-career multi-score game after he recorded two in the winover SMU on Oct. 5. The 6-foot, 180-pound back also went over 100 yards for the second time in his career.
Houston took a 14-7 lead with 11:59 left in the second quarter on a six-play, 87-yard drive capped by a 40-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Farrow. The Cougars kept the ball on the ground for five of the six plays on the possession, compiling 82 yards rushing on the scoring drive.
The rushing score was just the sixth RU allowed this season.
The Cougars tied the game with 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter following an interception of Nova by Houston’s Trevon Stewart. O’Korn took advantage of the RU turnover, going 4-for-5 for 37 yards and a touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7.
After the RU defense halted the Cougars deep in their own territory, the Scarlet Knights offensetook it 45 yards on five plays to take a 7-0 game with 3:15 left in the first. A 20-yard rush by Goodwin set RU up in the red zone, before the Madison product took it five yards for the score.
The touchdown was Goodwin’s third of the season, as he finished the first quarter with 69 yards on 11 attempts.
The Scarlet Knights mobilized their offense following a blocked field goal attempt, moving the ball down to the Houston 28-yard line after beginning on their own 25. Goodwin ran six times for 39 yards on RU’s opening drive, breaking off two rushed of at least 13 yards to keep the chains moving.
RU rejected their third kick of the season and nation leading 34th since 2009 with 11:29 remaining in the quarter, swatting away a 41-yard attempt to keep Houston off the board.
Rutgers football returns to High Point Solutions Stadium next Saturday on Nov. 2 to face Temple at noon. The game will be broadcast live on SNY.
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- DE Marcus Thompson served as a game captain with WR Brandon Coleman, LB Jamal Merrell, DL Jamil Merrell and QB Gary Nova
- First career start: WR Andre Patton, RB Justin Goodwin, CB Anthony Cioffi
- Collegiate debut: WR John Tsimis
- Season debut: DE Max Issaka
- Today’s game marked the first meeting between Rutgers and Houston.
- The homecoming attendance of 52,200 was the fourth-largest crowd in stadium history. Eight of the top 16 crowds in school history have come since the start of the 2012 season.
- LB Jamal Merrell’s blocked field goal in the first quarter was the 34th blocked kick for Rutgers since 2009, most in the nation.
- Rutgers did not allow a quarterback sack in the game on 31 pass attempts.
- Rutgers dropped to 35-9 since 2006when rushing for 150 yards or more in a game. The Scarlet Knights finished with 41 rushing attempts for 204 yards.
- A season-high 10 different receivers caught passes for the Scarlet Knights.
- Rutgers finished with four sacks. It marked the third game this season with at least four sacks defensively for the Scarlet Knights.
- RB Justin Goodwin rushed for a career-high 161 yards on the ground to go with two touchdowns. He recorded 125 yards in the first half. Goodwin is averaging 5.4 yards per carry this season (392 rushing yards).
- LB Steve Longa and LB Kevin Snyder tied for the team lead with seven tackles. Longa has now led the team in tackles in five games this season. Longa leads RU with 68 tackles in 2013.
- LB Jamal Merrell blocked a field goal attempt on the opening drive of the game. It was the seventh blocked kick of his career and second this year.
- FB Michael Burton notched a career-best five carries, gaining 24 yards.
- WR John Tsimis, WR Carlton Agudosi, WR Janarion Grant and TE Nick Arcidiacono all had two receptions, the first of their careers.
- TE Tyler Kroft had a 31-yard reception, making it 15 consecutive receptions that have led to a first down or touchdown.
- DL Jamil Merrell had his eighth career sack, most of any player on the roster. DL Darius Hamilton notched his first career sack on an intentional grounding call.