By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) _ Jawan Jamison ran for 110 yards and Wayne Warren returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown as No. 22 Rutgers suffocated Connecticut 19-3 Saturday to remain undefeated.
The Scarlet Knights (5-0, 2-0 Big East) are off to their best start since 2007, and they avenged a bitter loss to the Huskies that ended last regular season and kept Rutgers from sharing the conference title.
Jamison ran it 28 times and recorded his sixth straight 100-yard game. Gary Nova hooked up with Mark Harrison on a 14-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter, and Warren put it away with 3:44 left in the fourth when he pushed across the goal line with some help from his teammates.
UConn benched leading rusher Lyle McCombs for the first quarter after he was arrested and charged with second-degree breaching the peace on Friday. He finished with 12 yards on 12 carries and the Huskies (3-3, 0-1) were held to their worst scoring output since getting shutout by Louisville in the middle of the 2010 season.
McCombs is accused of yelling, pushing and spitting at his girlfriend during an argument outside a dorm in Storrs.
Rutgers has won six of the last eight meetings, but lost last year’s game 40-22.
The Scarlet Knights, unveiling new black uniforms with red trim to go with silver helmets, seemed intent on letting their defense keep them undefeated against a UConn team that was second-to-last in the Big East in total offense.
Linebackers Khaseem Greene and Steve Beauharnais were all over UConn’s runners, and the Huskies couldn’t keep Rutgers blitzes from forcing Chandler Whitmer to hurry his throws. Greene also had an interception late in the fourth quarter.
Rutgers chipped away offensively with Jamison running tough against a defense that had only been allowing 74 yards per game on the ground. Nova rarely went downfield but finished 18 for 27 for 157 yards.
The Scarlet Knights’ first drive of the second half was the best of the game for either team, an 84-yarder on nine plays,
highlighted by Jamison’s 28-yard run and capped when Harrison slipped a couple of tacklers and reached into the end zone with 9:09 left to make it 13-3.
Rutgers turned two first-quarter turnovers by UConn into two field goals by Kyle Federico in a span of 3:15.
Logan Ryan intercepted Whitmer’s pass at the Huskies 45 and that led to Federico’s 45-yarder and a 3-0 lead.
Whitmer finished 14 of 32 for 191 yards with four interceptions.
On the ensuing kickoff, Nick Williams was stripped by Tejay Johnson and Jamal Merrell recovered for Rutgers at UConn’s 29.
After Jamison’s 18-yard touchdown run was called back for holding, Federico booted through a 31-yarder.
UConn put together one solid drive in the first half, going 43 yards on 10 plays behind the running of McCombs and backup quarterback Scott McCummings. The drive stalled inside the 5 and Chad Christen kicked a 19-yard field goal to make it 6-3.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)