Tom Savage, a former Cardinal O'Hara High star, came up with the finest effort of his stellar freshman season for Rutgers on Saturday night in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
Savage threw for a career-best 294 yards in a 45-24 rout of Central Florida in St. Petersburg, Fla. He completed 14 of 27 passes and was intercepted once.
Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu ran for two touchdowns out of the Wildcat formation and scored on an 11-yard reception from Savage.
Rutgers (9-4) claimed a school-record fourth consecutive bowl win to finish with at least nine victories for just the sixth time in 140 years. UCF (8-5) fell to 0-3 in bowl games under coach George O'Leary.
"That's four straight bowl wins, five straight bowls," said coach Greg Schiano, who has rebuilt Rutgers from the ground up over the last nine seasons. "You need to be consistent before you can be great. We're going to be great someday - someday soon."
Billy Anderson scored on a 19-yard interception return for Rutgers, which shut down 1,000-yard rusher Brynn Harvey, limiting the running back to 32 yards on 13 carries to end his streak of three consecutive games with at least 129.
"It was real frustrating. We wanted to open the running game up, and things just didn't go our way. Just couldn't get it done," Harvey said.
The first Rutgers player since 1993 to run for a TD, throw for a TD, and catch a pass for a TD in the same season, Sanu rushed for 41 yards on 13 carries and had four receptions for 97 yards.
He also set up Central Florida's first touchdown, fumbling a punt that was recovered inside the Rutgers 10. Three plays later, Brett Hodges threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Kamar Aiken for a brief 7-7 tie.
"As the season progressed, we did more and more with the Wildcat because we felt like he earned the touches," Schiano said of Sanu, the Scarlet Knights' second-leading receiver and rusher.
"We needed to get the ball in his hands, and that's one way we could guarantee doing that. I think he did a great job."
Tim Brown, whose status had been uncertain because of an ankle injury, put the Scarlet Knights ahead for good when he caught a pass over the middle and turned it into a 65-yard TD play.
Michigan cornerback exits. Michigan cornerback Donovan Warren has declared for the NFL draft.
Warren told the Associated Press yesterday that he believes it's the right time to take his game to the next level. "I'm confident in my ability," he said. "I'm ready for the next chapter in my life."
The junior from Long Beach, Calif., had asked the NFL Draft Advisory Board to project when he would be selected if he chose to go pro.
"It was pretty broad, but they said I could go in the first or second round," said Warren, adding that he had signed with agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Warren's four interceptions led the Wolverines in 2009.
New Buffalo coach. Jeff Quinn's will be Buffalo's new football coach following the departure of Turner Gill, who was hired by Kansas.
Quinn's hiring was announced by the school yesterday, but he will remain as Cincinnati's interim coach until after the Bearcats play Florida in the Sugar Bowl.