CINCINNATI — With another shutdown day by its defense, No. 22 Rutgers stayed in control of the Big East.
Reserve running back Savon Huggins had a career-high 179 yards, and the Scarlet Knights stifled the league's top scoring offense for a 10-3 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday that left Rutgers alone in first place.
Rutgers knocked the Bearcats out of the race and kept a one-game lead over No. 20 Louisville, which was idle. The Scarlet Knights finish with games at Pittsburgh and home against Louisville.
"I'm not thinking about being in control of the Big East," coach Kyle Flood said. "This was a one-time event."
Not by Rutgers' reserve running back or its unmatched defense.
Huggins filled in for the injured Jawan Jamison and had a career day. Gary Nova threw a 71-yard touchdown 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 until Tony Miliano's 36-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. Rutgers recovered the onside kick.
It was the third time this season Rutgers held an opponent to three or fewer points.
"I was very disappointed about losing the shutout," said Scarlet Knights linebacker Khaseem Greene, the conference's defensive player of the year in 2011. "I'm not going to lie to you. We played hard enough and worked hard enough to get the shutout."
Rutgers picked off Brendon Kay twice and stopped George Winn on fourth and inches at the Scarlet Knights' 7-yard line in the third quarter. Rutgers came in fifth nationally in points allowed at 13.4 per game.
It was essentially an elimination game for the Bearcats, who won or shared three of the past four league titles. They'd already lost to Louisville.
"That's a locker room that's hurting right now," Bearcats coach Butch Jones said. "We can still finish with 10 wins, which is extremely hard to do in college football."
Rutgers is 5-0 in the Big East for the first time.
Jamison, second in the league at 105.9 yards per game, was limited by an ankle injury suffered a week earlier and carried four times for 37 yards.
TEMPLE 63, ARMY 32: Montel Harris ran for a career-high 351 yards and seven touchdowns (see notes, 2X) and Matt Brown scored twice before leaving with an injury for the visiting Owls. Temple scored only 54 points combined in losing its previous four, all in the Big East.