Rutgers remained undefeated with a 23-15 home victory over Syracuse on Saturday and moved up to No.19 in the latest AP Poll while also debuting at No.15 in the first BCS rankings of the season. The hoops season is also nearing its beginning and the Scarlet Knights tipped off practice with MidKnight Madness inside the College Ave Gym on Friday night.
The Monday Morning Kickoff gets you caught up on the latest in the scarlet nation and also gets you ready for a new week in Rutgers sports.
A view from the Gridiron Rutgers Football
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Senior linebacker Khaseem Greene was honored for his play against Syracuse with the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week Award. The award is given out weekly to the top defensive player in the FBS. Greene finished the game with 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles.
"A tremendous individual performance by Khaseem on the day," said head coach Kyle Flood. "Certainly an All-American, Player of the Year type of performance, which is what he can do for us and has done in the past. Certainly nothing new for him to do that."
The day also saw sophomore quarterback Gary Nova extend his streak to 19 quarters without an interception. Nova threw a pair of interceptions in the first two games but has thrown 153 consecutive passes without a pick.
He talked about what has enabled him to put together such an impressive run.
"Just preparing really hard. The first two interceptions I had, they were all on myself. Just learning from those and not putting the team in a bad predicament, throwing the ball away, running when I have to when nothing is there and checking it down."
Saturday did, however, see a streak come to an end as Jawan Jamison's consecutive 100-yard game streak halted at six.
"They were keying in on me," said Jamison, who finished with 64 yards on 28 carries. "We did have some creases but I feel like I could have made some better decisions on my part. I could have played better, but we played the best we could."
Jamison also acknowledged that the Syracuse run defense was the best he faced this season.
"So far, they are the best but I feel like we made a bunch of mistakes on our part. We didn't take advantage of some mistakes and some things we could have corrected at halftime," Jamison said. "On my part, I missed a couple of runs. That's just going to make me come out and work even harder."
With Saturday's win, Rutgers is bowl eligible for the seventh time in the last eight years.
"Going to a bowl is reward and to get in this early is exciting," said senior safety Duron Harmon. "But at the same time, we know we're not playing just for a bowl, we're playing for a Big East championship. That's where our mindset is."
Here is a list of the recruits who were in attendance for Saturday's game:
-South Brunswick safety TJ Taylor (RU commit)
-Wildwood RB/LB Wesley Hills
-Montclair RB Mike Million
-Neshaminy (Pa.)TE Luke Carrezola
-Robbinsville OL/DL Tyler Gildner
-Eastern Christian (Md.) OL Jamie Herr and WR Freddy Canteen
-Barnegat QB Cinjun Erskine
-2016 OL Rashan Gary of Scotch Plains
-Bethlehem Liberty (Pa.) WR K.J. Williams
-Cedar Cliff (Pa.) 2014 QB Andrew Ford
-Bishop McNamara (Md.) OL Damian Prince
-Council Rock South (Pa.) OL Eric Gallo
-Council Rock (Pa.) 2016 QB Brandon McIlwain
There was also another NJ top 20 player from the class of 2013 in attendance. Cick here to find out more on that guest.
Next weekend, Rutgers will take to the road to face a 3-2 Temple squad, who is also undefeated in the Big East.
Temple knocked off UConn in overtime on Saturday by a final score of 17-14.
Later this morning, head coach Kyle Flood will hold his weekly press conference inside the Hale Center starting at 10:30 a.m. Stay logged onto to Scarlet Nation for updates from the presser in addition to the most extensive coverage of Rutgers football anywhere.
The take from center court (Rutgers basketball)
Rutgers tipped off its annual MidKnight Madness Friday night inside the College Ave Gym. Among the night's festivities was a dunk contest that was won by one of the newest Scarlet Knights, JuCo transfer Vincent Garrett.
"I kind of knew I was going to win already," Garrett said afterward. "I just did dunks I used to do in high school. It was nothing new."
Garrett also commented on what he's seen from the team since his arrival this summer.
"More mature. That's what I've really seen. More leadership from the seniors. That's what I've really seen. We're working real hard, so all we can do is wait and see."
Now that the team can officially start practicing, Mike Rice is excited to embark on his third season as RU's head coach.
"I'm very excited to show everybody what direction this program is going," Rice said. "And again, I always say it's going to happen. That's my phrase. It's going to happen. We're going to do it here. We're going to win. I don't know when, but I can see progress and I can see guys chemistry and developing and maturing."
There were also quite a few recruits on hand for MidKnight Madness and here's a rundown of those in attendance:
2013 Roselle Catholic forward Tyler Roberson
2014 6-foot-9 C Quadri Moore of Linden
2015 guard Malachi Richardson- Roselle Catholic
2014 wing Jared Nickens of Westtown (Pa.)
2016 guard Tyus Battle of Gill St. Bernard's
2014 guard Elijah Cain of Medford Tech (NJ)
2014 guard Cheddi Mosely of St. Anthony
Moore and Nickens also attended the Rutgers vs. Syracuse football game on Saturday.