Cincinnati • Reserve running back Savon Huggins had a career-high 179 yards, and Rutgers' defense had another shut-down performance Saturday for a 10-3 victory over Cincinnati that kept the 22nd-ranked Scarlet Knights in control of the Big East.
Rutgers (9-1, 5-0) remained the only unbeaten team in conference play. The Scarlet Knights finish with games at Pittsburgh and home against No. 20 Louisville, which has one Big East loss.
Huggins filled in for the injured Jawan Jamison and had a career day all around, leading an offense that did just enough. Gary Nova threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Mark Harrison in the second quarter, and Nick Borgese made a 42-yard field goal in the fourth.
The league's top defense took it from there, shutting out Cincinnati (7-3, 3-2) until Tony Miliano kicked a 36-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. Rutgers recovered the onside kick.
It was the third time this season that Rutgers held an opponent to three or fewer points.
Rutgers picked off Brandon Kay twice and stopped George Winn on a fourth-and-inches play at the Scarlet Knights' 7-yard line in the third quarter. Rutgers came into the game fifth nationally in points allowed, giving up 13.4 per game.
It essentially was an elimination game for the Bearcats, who won or shared three of the last four league titles. They've already lost to Louisville and finish against South Florida and Connecticut.
Rutgers repeatedly wasted chances to pad its lead, relying on the defense to hold on. Nova threw two interceptions in the first half when the Scarlet Knights were in field goal range, and Rutgers also had a 22-yard field goal attempt blocked late in the third quarter. Nova finished 11 of 19 for 186 yards.