Oct. 11, 2008
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CINCINNATI (AP) - Redshirt freshman Chazz Anderson ran eight yards for a touchdown on a quarterback draw, and Cincinnati overcame an afternoon of penalties and punts to beat Rutgers 13-10 on Saturday, extending the Scarlet Knights' stunning decline.
Anderson, making his second straight start after injuries wiped out Cincinnati's top quarterbacks, did just enough to help the Bearcats (5-1, 1-0) win their Big East opener.
It was ragged all around.
The Scarlet Knights (1-5, 0-2) are off to their worst start since 2002, when they went 1-11. They were an overnight success story in 2006, when they won their first nine games - a streak that ended in Cincinnati - and finished 11-2. They've been going in reverse, finishing 8-5 last season and struggling this year with an unproductive offense.
Rutgers' touchdown came on a trick play early in the second half. Mike Teel handed off to running back Kordell Young, who ran toward the right sideline and threw a 17-yard pass to uncovered fullback Jack Corcoran.
Cincinnati had 12 penalties for 115 yards - three of them personal fouls - and went 0-for-11 on third downs, resulting in nine punts. With a chance to run out the clock, the Bearcats failed to move the ball and had to punt, giving Rutgers possession at its 12-yard line with 2:10 to go.
The Scarlet Knights let that final chance slip away when Kenny Britt dropped a pass on 4th-and-2 at the Rutgers 30-yard line.
The Bearcats were forced to use two redshirt freshmen at quarterback after senior Dustin Grutza and junior Tony Pike got hurt. Anderson edged out Zach Collaros for the job, and has led Cincinnati to a pair of wins. He went 21-of-29 for 239 yards against the Scarlet Knights.
He also made some freshman mistakes. He held the ball too long and took back-to-back sacks in the second quarter, pushing Cincinnati out of field goal range. He was indecisive at times, unsure whether to run or wait for a receiver to get open.
The Scarlet Knights set a school scoring record last season behind Teel, who threw a Rutgers-record 20 touchdown passes. The senior quarterback has struggled this season without running back Ray Rice, who was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.
Rutgers came into the game averaging only 19 points, worst in the Big East. Nothing worked in the first half, when Rutgers managed only two first downs in seven possessions. On one telling play, Teel threw too far to the side of Tim Brown, who had beaten the secondary and was five yards beyond the nearest defender.
Teel finished 19-of-35 for 175 yards. Young, who missed the last four games with a sore knee, ran 22 times for 78 yards.
Cincinnati's Jake Rogers and Rutgers' San San Te each made a 50-yard field goal in the third quarter, which ended with the Bearcats ahead 13-10. Two personal fouls on Cincinnati set up Te's kick.