Scarlet Knights post largest margin of victory in a shutout since 1978
PISCATAWAY, NJ – Fueled by four rushing touchdowns from true freshman quarterback Johnathan Lewis, Rutgers football dominated Morgan State in a 65-0 shutout on Saturday afternoon at High Point Solutions Stadium in front of 39,892 fans. It was the largest shutout by RU since 1978.
Overall, Lewis was responsible for five RU touchdowns, including four rushing and one passing. It marked the most rushing touchdowns for a quarterback during a single game in school history and the second time a true freshman ran for four scores.
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Freshman running back Raheem Blackshear also posted two rushing touchdowns, pacing the offense with 132 all-purpose yards, which included 102 rushing yards on 14 carries. Senior running back Robert Martin contributed a rushing touchdown of his own, while tight ends Jerome Washington and Nakia Griffin-Stewart each posted a TD grab to wrap up the RU scorers.
Fifth-year senior quarterback Kyle Bolin posted his third start for RU, recording 140 yards and a touchdown on 11-of-17 passes.
Fifth-year senior defensive end Darnell Davis led the defense with 10 total tackles, along with a sack and a forced fumble. Freshman wide receiver Hunter Hayek registered a blocked punt, marking RU's second blocked kick of the season and 49th dating back to 2009, which leads the nation.
After the Scarlet Knights claimed a 7-0 edge late in the first quarter, Rutgers ran away with the lead and never looked back, adding four more touchdowns in the second to establish a substantial 34-0 lead over the Bears by halftime. Rutgers kept the momentum rolling with two touchdowns and a field goal in the third quarter.
Rutgers established a 7-0 lead with a 13-yard touchdown run by Martin with 5:20 on the clock in the first quarter. Martin had four carries for a total of 32 yards to drive the Scarlet Knights down the field in less than two minutes.
With less than two minutes to go in the first quarter, Edwards used a 25-yard rush to ignite the Rutgers offense on its following drive. The Scarlet Knights used the spark to set up a nine-yard touchdown pass from Bolin to Washington for a 14-0 RU advantage four minutes into the second quarter.
After the Rutgers defense forced MSU into a three-and-out, they maintained the momentum with a quick 18-yard touchdown pass from Lewis to Griffin-Stewart on the second play of the drive for a 21-0 Scarlet Knight lead.
It wasn't long until the RU offense returned to the field as Davis forced a Bears fumble that fifth-year senior defensive lineman Kemoko Turay recovered at the Rutgers 32-yard line. A 23-yard rush for Lewis helped RU breeze down the field, as he went on to add a 16-yard rushing touchdown for a 27-0 advantage with 3:10 on the clock.
The RU defense held the same energy, as Hayek would block a Bear punt, as redshirt freshman Mohamed Jabbie recovered and pushed to MSU's 11-yard line. The Scarlet Knights would go on to add a two-yard rushing touchdown for Lewis, setting Rutgers' lead at 34-0 for halftime.
Returning from the break Rutgers wasted no time growing its lead to 41-0 as a 48-yard pass from Bolin to freshman wide receiver Bo Melton to help set up another 2-yard carry for Lewis just two minutes into the third quarter.
After a 38-yard field goal for fifth-yard kicker Andrew Harte pushed the margin to 44-0, Lewis added his fourth rushing touchdown of the game with a four-yard quarterback keeper with 2:03 left in the third.
In the fourth quarter, Blackshear added two rushing touchdowns, as he rushed for nine yards on the first and 33 yards on the second to set the final score at 65-0.
Up next, Rutgers opens Big Ten play at Nebraska for its first road matchup of the season on Saturday, Sept. 23. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.
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