PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Freshman Tom Savage passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns in his first start and Rutgers rebounded from a dismal season-opening loss to pound Howard 45-7 on Saturday.
Backup halfback Jourdan Brooks ran for 124 yards and scored on runs of 6, 2 and 57 yards in the first half as the Scarlet Knights tallied on seven straight possessions, including a spree of four touchdowns in six plays.
Savage, who was considered the heir apparent to Mike Teel entering the season, hit fullback Jack Corcoran on a 21-yard touchdown pass and connected with Tim Brown on a 68-yard scoring play. He completed 8 of 13 passes, averaging almost 28 yards a completion.
San San Te kicked three field goals for Rutgers, which was embarrassed 47-15 by No. 23 Cincinnati on Monday.
Howard got a 40-yard touchdown pass from Floyd Haigler to Willie Carter in its season opener. The Bison, a Football Championship Subdivision team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, received $325,000 to play their Big East opponent.
The only thing that really went wrong for Rutgers was the opening kickoff. Backup tight end Evan Lampert fumbled the short kick and Lanny Kelly recovered at the Scarlet Knights' 24.
Two plays later, Haigler lost the ball while going back to pass and Damaso Munoz recovered for Rutgers.
It was all Scarlet Knights after that.
Savage threw a 49-yard pass to Brown on his second snap to set up Te's 24-yard field goal. An 11-yard run by Joe Martinek and passes of 15 yards to Brown and 17 yards to freshman Mohamed Sanu set up Brooks' 6-yard TD run.
Rutgers' offense went into overdrive on its next four possessions, scoring touchdowns on drives of 67, 6, 68 and 57 yards in six plays.
Savage hit tight end D.C. Jefferson 46 yards and followed that with his 21-yard score to Corcoran on a swing pass.
Defensive tackle Charlie Noonan recovered a Brandon Drayton fumble at the Howard 6 on the next series and Brooks scored from the 2 after a pass interference penalty.
Savage and Brown hooked up on their bomb the next time Rutgers got the ball. Brooks, who carried 17 times before being injured in the third quarter, answered Howard's touchdown by breaking two tackles on his long touchdown run on the Scarlet Knights' next play from scrimmage.
Te added a 20-yard field goal late in the second quarter for a 42-7 lead. He kicked a 30-yarder in the second half.
Savage became the fifth quarterback in Rutgers history to start as a true freshman, joining Ryan Hart (2002), Ryan Cubit (2001), Mike McMahon (1997) and Jacque LaPrairie (1981).
The Scarlet Knights have played four MEAC teams since coach Greg Schiano took over in 2000, outscoring them 199-14.
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|North Carolina A&T||7-1||10-2|
|North Carolina Central||7-1||8-3|
|South Carolina State||6-2||7-4|