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October 7, 2012
Leading up to Saturday's Rutgers vs. UConn game, there were some choice words slung in the direction of the Rutgers football program from the state of Connecticut. While some UConn players spoke out about Rutgers, it was business as usual for the Scarlet Knights.
Earlier this week, UConn senior cornerback and Piscataway native Dwayne Gratz told Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant, "I don't like Rutgers. I never have. I never will."
Gratz had more words for Rutgers, but when the Scarlet Knights learned about those remarks, they did not engage in a spout off.
"People are going to talk. I understand some of the guys are from New Jersey and they felt some type of way not being recruited here," said senior wide receiver Mark Harrison, one of two Scarlet Knights from the state of Connecticut. "You can't really talk, you just have to go out there and let your game do the talking."
Rutgers did just that and handed UConn a 19-3 defeat to move to 5-0 on the season.
"It felt good, especially after hearing the things we heard throughout the week," Rutgers senior tight end D.C. Jefferson said after the game. "Going out there and winning is something we didn't execute last year. They took the Big East championship away from us and this year every game is a Big East championship. We're doing it one game at a time and it feels good to win this one."
Jefferson also claimed that Rutgers did not need to use any pregame talk as motivation.
"We honestly don't take it personally because they're fueling themselves," Jefferson said. "We know what we have to do to continue to win and that's what we're focused on."
Meanwhile, after the game in the UConn locker room, Gratz was not made available for comment. Running back Lyle McCombs did, however, share his thoughts on the loss.
"We have to do a better job of capitalizing. It's nothing they did," McCombs said. "It's everything that we did. We have to do a better job of putting the nail in the coffin. We didn't get it done today."
On the other side of things, Rutgers did get it done. In the process, the Scarlet Knights moved to 2-0 in the Big East and notched their sixth consecutive victory dating back to last season.
And regardless of what was or what will be said in the future, Jefferson is not worried about any outside distractions.
"People on this team focus on what we have to do," he said. "We're 5-0 as a team and we're going to keep going from here."