PISCATAWAY, N.J. - South Florida slogged off the field in the midst of another Rutgers celebration, white and green dots in a sea of red.
The second-ranked Bulls' unexpected ascent into college football's elite had been snarled by a team that's getting good at taking out national title contenders.
Third-string quarterback Andrew DePaola threw a 15-yard touchdown pass off a fake field goal to give the Scarlet Knights the lead in the third quarter and Rutgers also used a fake punt to set up an early field goal in its 30-27 victory Thursday night.
Ray Rice provided a more conventional 181 yards on 39 carries for Rutgers (5-2, 2-1 Big East) and Mike Teel threw two touchdown passes to Tiquan Underwood.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"We just went out there and played our best football," Rice said.
South Florida became the third No. 2 team to lose in the last three weeks.
"I thought we had a chip on our shoulders tonight," Bulls cornerback Trae Williams said. "That we would prove something to the nation. That we are deserving of the ranking. Obviously, we didn't get it done tonight."
The Bulls (6-1, 1-1) had their eight-game winning streak come to an end.
Matt Grothe threw for 247 yards and a touchdown and ran for 58 yards, but Rutgers' defense swarmed South Florida's multitalented quarterback in the second half and sacked him seven times in the game.
A week after No. 2 California lost to Oregon State and two weeks after then-No. 2 Southern California was upset by Stanford, the Bulls became the 11th Top 10 team to fall to an unranked opponent this season.
"Personally, rankings don't mean that much when you're on the field," Bulls receiver Marcus Edwards said. "All that stuff goes out the window. It comes down to who scores the most points, and they scored more than we did tonight."
UTAH 27, TCU 20
At Fort Worth, Texas, Darrell Mack pounded his way for 100 yards rushing and a touchdown on 32 carries, and Utah won its fourth straight game since starting quarterback Brian Johnson returned from injury.
Johnson, who missed three games after separating his shoulder in the season opener, completed 13 of 20 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. His only interception didn't hurt the Utes (5-3, 2-2 Mountain West).
Mack and Johnson accounted for all but seven of Utah's 227 total yards.