Through the first few games of the season, Rutgers senior cornerback Brandon Jones has had a knack for being around the football. And for the third straight game this season, Jones found a way to get his hands on the football last night against South Florida.
Jones hauled in his second interception of the season against USF in the second quarter at a critical point in the game. Jones' pick halted a drive deep in Rutgers territory at a time when the Scarlet Knights were down by a count of 6-0.
Jones' pick-six in game No.1 against Tulane was also a timely play and extended things to a two-possession game in the third quarter. Last week against Howard, Jones scored again on a Miles Shuler blocked punt.
This season, Jones is finally healthy after a broken bone in his leg hampered him through all of last season.
"I'm 100 percent now and it's good to be back healthy," Jones said following the Thursday night win. "It was hard last year, I was about 65 to 70 percent all year. But now it's a lot more fun being back at 100 percent."
Jones still started every game last year and had a remarkable season considering he was playing with such a handicap. This season, he's been a big reason for the rise of the RU defense as a whole.
"It's good to see guys not spitting out when they run the ball and just kind of hitting the wall," Jones said. "That's what we have to do if we want to be a championship defense. We have to stop the run and limit the big plays on the back end."
On Thursday night, Jones was part of a team effort that trickled down from secondary to linebackers to defensive line.
"I'm proud of how we played, it was definitely a Rutgers win," Jones said. "It wasn't pretty but at the end of the day I feel like we played tough football and got the job done."
As well as Jones and company have played through the first three games, he cautioned about being too overconfident moving forward into the season.
"It's still early. We still have a lot of work to do. We just have to take it one game at a time. We're going to shift our focus to Arkansas now and hopefully have a good week of practice and then go down to Fayetteville and play against a great football team."