Tom Savage threw for two touchdowns and Rutgers forced four turnovers, blocked a punt and recorded seven sacks in embarrassing the error-prone Bulls, 31-0, in a nationally televised game on Thursday night.
The victory was the fourth straight for Rutgers (7-2, 2-2 Big East) over South Florida (6-3, 2-3), and this one made the Scarlet Knights bowl eligible for the fifth straight season.
The only other time South Florida was shut out was 14-0 in the Meineke Bowl in 2005 against North Carolina State.
Savage threw touchdown passes of 25 yards to Mohamed Sanu and 26 yards to Tim Brown. Joe Martinek ran for 128 yards, including a 37-yard score. San San Te kicked field goals of 36, 26 and 49 yards.
The Huskies (7-3, 5-1 Mid-American West) won their fourth straight while the Cardinals (1-9, 1-5) dropped their sixth game by seven or fewer points.
Harnish had missed three games with a knee injury. He hit wide receiver Marcus Lewis on a six-yard scoring play late in the third quarter for a 26-13 lead.
Ball State cut it to 26-20 on Tanner Justice's 29-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Ifft with 6:53 left in regulation.
The teams traded touchdowns on their respective first possessions. The Huskies added a safety and a six-yard Chad Spann touchdown for a 16-7 lead late in the first quarter. . . . In other Thursday games, Bowling Green defeated Miami Ohio, 35-14, and Grambling State (6-5) beat Texas Southern, 47-33.