2O12 RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL
VIRGINIA TECH 13 - RUTGERS 10 (OT)
ORLANDO, Fla. – Rutgers saw its 2012 season come to an end with a 13-10 overtime loss to Virginia Tech in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando on Dec. 28, 2012. The loss ended the Scarlet Knights’ bowl win streak at five, which had previously been the longest active streak in the nation. In the 15th meeting between the two squads, Rutgers held a 10-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Scarlet Knights scored first on a ball that was snapped over Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas and recovered in the end zone by Rutgers LB Khaseem Greene on the opening drive. An RU field goal by Nick Borgese late in the opening quarter would be the final points until the last stanza. In the fourth, the Hokies were able to tie it up. In the first overtime possession, the Hokies settled for a 22-yard field goal to take a 13-10 lead. Rutgers had a possession to answer, but after going three-and-out, Borgese missed wide-right on a 42-yard field goal attempt to end the game. Rutgers finished the year 9-4 and earned a share of the school’s first BIG EAST Championship.
2011 NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL
RUTGERS 27 - IOWA STATE 13
BRONX, N.Y. – Chas Dodd hit Brandon Coleman for an 86-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter and Jawan Jamison ran for two scores to lead Rutgers over Iowa State 27-13 in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 30, 2011
.The Scarlet Knights (9-4) ran their bowl winning streak to five and improved to 2-0 this season at Yankee Stadium, where they beat Army earlier in the season. Rutgers, which played in one bowl game before 2005, is 5-1 in the postseason since that season.
The Cyclones (6-7) finished the season on a three-game losing streak, their last win coming on Nov. 18 in Ames, Iowa, when they pulled off the biggest upset of the season against Oklahoma State.
That night Jared Barnett threw for 376 yards. In this game, Steele Jantz relieved Barnett in the second quarter and helped pull the Cyclones within 20-13 in the fourth on Jeff Woody's 20-yard touchdown run with 10:00 left.
After an exchange of punts left Rutgers deep in its own end, Dodd went deep to Coleman. The 6-foot-6 redshirt freshman went over 5-7 cornerback Jeremy Reeves, then outran the corner to the end zone to make it 27-13 with 5:47 left.
It was Coleman's only catch, but it turned out to be the play of the game.
Jamison, another redshirt freshman giving Rutgers fans hope for more bowls to come, finished with 134 yards on 27 carries.
2009 ST. PETERSBURG BOWL
RUTGERS 45 - UCF 24
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Rutgers (9-4) capped off its fifth-straight bowl appearance with its fourth-consecutive bowl victory, defeating Central Florida 45-24 in the 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 19 at Tropicana Field.
The Scarlet Knights showed a great display of balance in all three phases of the game, recording touchdowns on offensive, defensive and special teams. RU ended the night with two rushing touchdowns, two passing touchdowns, one interception and one kickoff returned for scores.
Rutgers gained 380 yards of total offense behind a career passing day from freshman quarterback Tom Savage who completed 14-of-27 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow true freshman Mohamed Sanu also enjoyed a career-best evening as he accounted for three of RU’s five touchdowns. Sanu had 13 carries for 41 yards and a pair of touchdowns, in addition to catching four passes for 97 yards and a TD.
For his performance Sanu was awarded the Most Outstanding Player trophy, joining past bowl honorees Ray Rice (2006 Texas Bowl, 2008 International Bowl) and Mike Teel (2008 PapaJohns.com Bowl).
2008 PAPJOHNS.COM BOWL
RUTGERS 29 NC STATE 23
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Fitting that Rutgers would end the 2008 season with a come-from-behind win. After winning only one of their first six games, Mike Teel and the Scarlet Knights erased an 11-point second half deficit to defeat North Carolina State 29-23 in the Papajohns.com Bowl.
Leading the comeback -- as he did all season -- was Teel, who passed for 319 yards and two touchdowns, including a 42-yard scoring toss to Kenny Britt to give the Scarlet Knights (8 -5) the lead for good in the fourth quarter. Teel's pass to Britt with 8:30 to play proved to be the winning touchdown. Britt, a third-team All-American, made a juggling catch as he crossed the goal line and finished with six catches for 119 yards.
Teel, a senior, was the game's most valuable player. He ended his career on a seven-game winning streak after being booed at home when he was struggling earlier in the season. NC State (6-7) held a 17-6 halftime edge, led by quarterback Russell Wilson who was 11-for-23 for 186 yards and a score. But Wilson left the game with a strained knee late in the first half and did not return.
The Scarlet Knights scored 10 consecutive points in the third quarter on a 31-yard field goal by San San Te and an 11-yard pass from Teel to Tiquan Underwood. Rutgers took a 19-17 lead with 13:31 to play on a 28-yard field by Te after a 10-play 70-yard drive. The Wolfpack came right back as reserve quarterback Daniel Evans drove them 64 yards in eight plays and hit Anthony Hill with a 16-yard touchdown pass to give NC State a 23-19 lead. But it was only two plays later when Teel hit Britt for the go-ahead score.
2008 INTERNATIONAL BOWL
RUTGERS 52 BALL STATE 30
TORONTO - In its third-consecutive bowl game, Rutgers pulled off another program milestone with its second-straight postseason victory as the Scarlet Knights defeated Ball State 52-30. Ray Rice had one of the finest individual outings in college football history, rushing for a career-high 280 yards and four touchdowns en route to being named the International Bowl's Most Valuable Player, his second-consecutive MVP honor in a bowl game. Rice's 280 yards were the third-most rushing yards in NCAA Bowl history. He entered the game with 1,732 yards on the ground and ended his season with 2,012 yards rushing to become the 13th player in NCAA history to amass more than 2,000 yards. The rushing total also set a BIG EAST and school single-season record. The 52 points scored were the most in Rutgers' bowl history. Including both individual and team marks, RU set a total of nine bowl records at the International Bowl.
2006 TEXAS BOWL
RUTGERS 37 KANSAS STATE 10
Rutgers' most memorable season ended with another milestone victory.
Ray Rice rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown and Tim Brown caught two TD passes, and the 16th-ranked Scarlet Knights won a bowl game for the first time, beating Kansas State 37-10 in the Texas Bowl.
Linebacker Quintero Frierson returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage of the second half and Rutgers (11-2) cruised from there, earning an 11th victory for the second time in the school's mostly forgettable 137 seasons.
Rice was named the game's Most Valuable Player after topping 100 yards for the 10th time this season and the 15th time in 25 career games. The 5-foot-9, 195-pound sophomore went over 150 yards for the fifth time this season.
The Scarlet Knights' seventh-ranked defense manhandled Kansas State's offense, holding the Wildcats to 160 total yards and six first downs. Freshman quarterback Josh Freeman finished 10 for 21 for 124 yards with two interceptions.
Kansas State (7-6) mustered only 94 yards after Frierson's return of Freeman's first interception put Rutgers up 24-10 only 33 seconds out of halftime. The Wildcats' only touchdown came on Yamon Figurs' 76-yard punt return with 9:37 left in the second quarter.
Brown caught a pass from Mike Teel down the line of scrimmage and weaved 25 yards to the end zone for the game's first score. Rice had a 24-yard run on Rutgers' next possession and Teel found Brown deep down the sideline for a 14-0 lead. Brown, a freshman from Miami, Fla., had only four catches and one TD reception coming into the game.
Rutgers outscored its opponents 103-28 in the first quarter this season.
On the first play of the second quarter, Freeman found Jordy Nelson on a crossing route for a 33-yard gain to set up Jeff Snodgrass' 44-yard field goal. Four minutes later, Figurs took Joe Radigan's punt up the middle, sidestepped Radigan and scored Kansas State's seventh special-teams touchdown of the season.
Rice, the nation's fourth-leading rusher, had 74 yards rushing at halftime to move into third place on the school's career list.
The Wildcats' offense had only one more yard at halftime (77) than Figurs gained on his punt return. And then it got worse for the Wildcats. Freeman was on the run when Frierson leaped to pick off his wobbly pass. Freeman's 14th interception of the season was his fifth in the Wildcats' last three games.
Rice burst through the line and ran untouched through the defense for 46 yards and his 20th touchdown of the season to make it 31-10 with 11:41 left in the third quarter, and that was more than enough for Rutgers.
The Wildcats' offense did nothing after that, failing to get a first down for the rest of the third quarter. Freshman Leon Patton, Kansas State's leading rusher, fumbled at the Wildcats' 22 near the end of the quarter, setting up the second of Jeremy Ito's three field goals.
Teel finished 16 for 28 for 268 yards without an interception. Brown had four catches for 101 yards and Clark Harris made seven catches for 120.
2005 INSIGHT BOWL
RUTGERS 40 ARIZONA STATE 45
In a Wild West shootout staged at Phoenix’s Chase Field, Rutgers (7-5) fell just short, losing to Arizona State (7-5) 45-40 at the Insight Bowl Dec. 27.
Rutgers struck immediately with an eight-play, 80-yard drive after receiving the opening kickoff. Ryan Hart hooked up with Brian Leonard for a 12-yard completion up the right sideline, and then Hart found tight end Clark Harris in the back right corner of the end zone from one yard out. Jeremy Ito’s extra point gave the Scarlet Knights a 7-0 lead 2:08 into the contest.
Arizona State would answer with a seven-play, 80-yard drive of its own, capped by a 43-yard completion from Rudy Carpenter to Matt Miller, evening the scoreboard at 7-7.
Foster’s 22-yard return of the ensuing kickoff set up Rutgers for its next scoring drive. Leonard turned a Hart screen into a 38-yard gain, and then took another Hart screen pass and dashed up the left sideline, scoring from 31 yards out to give Rutgers a 14-7 cushion six minutes into the first period.
During the Sun Devils’ next possession, Courtney Greene jarred the ball loose from the ASU ball carrier at midfield and Ramel Meekins pounced on it, giving the Scarlet Knights possession at the Arizona State 46-yard line. Hart connected with Harris for a 23-yard completion, and Leonard fought through tackles for 13 yards over the left side, setting up a 25-yard field goal by Ito and a 17-7 lead with 5:22 to play in the opening stanza.
Rutgers pushed its advantage back to two touchdowns thanks to a nine-play, 80-yard drive during its next possession. Leonard bulled his way in from the three-yard line for his second touchdown of the game (24-10, 2:29).
Arizona State found the end zone one last time before the break, a one-yard completion from Carpenter to Zach Miller, pulling the Sun Devils back to within seven points at 24-17 just 39 seconds before the intermission.
The Sun Devils received the opening kick of the second half and went for 70 yards in six plays, culminating in a one-yard touchdown by Rudy Burgess to even the score (24-24, 13:16) for the first time since five minutes into the contest.
Rutgers answered with a 23-yard field goal at the 6:53 mark to give RU a 27-24 edge midway through the third quarter. But, that lead was short lived, as ASU’s Carpenter found Terry Richardson for a 22-yard touchdown and a 31-27 bulge (4:33).
Ito boomed a 52-yard field goal, a career best for him as well as an Insight Bowl record, to make it a one-point game (31-30) with 2:05 to play in the third. Ito then blasted his fourth field goal of the game from 48 yards out, pushing Rutgers ahead 33-31 2:02 into the final period.
Later on second-and-25, Carpenter found Jamaal Lewis for a 42-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion made it a six-point affair (39-33, 10:00). Rutgers was unable to produce any points during its next possession, and ASU extended its lead while using a precious 4:25 of the clock during its next drive, finishing with a Burgess four-yard run and a failed two-point conversion (45-33, 4:26).
But the Scarlet Knights continued to fight, and in 51 seconds engineered a 63-yard scoring drive, capped by a 29-yard strike from Hart to Moses (45-40, 2:00).
1978 GARDEN STATE BOWL
RUTGERS 18 ARIZONA STATE 34
Prior to the Garden State Bowl, there had been only a few attempts to stage a post-season bowl game in the Northeast because of unpredictable weather conditions in mid- or late-December. The Liberty Bowl was started in 1960 in Philadelphia and was staged there through 1964, then moved indoors in Atlantic City in 1965 before going to warmer climates in Memphis, Tenn., in 1966. The Gotham Bowl was held in the Polo Grounds in 1961, with Baylor defeating Utah State, 24-9, and, in its second try in 1962 in Yankee Stadium, Nebraska defeated Miami, 36-34, reportedly in 17-degree weather.
But, on Dec. 16, 1978, the thermometer in Giants Stadium read an unseasonable 40 degrees. And, despite the pre-game hope by the Rutgers squad that it would be much colder as it entertained an Arizona State team accustomed to playing in warm weather, Rutgers was hot at the start.
A two- or three-touchdown underdog to the 8-3 Sun Devils (who had defeated rival Arizona in the regular season finale and also owned a victory over the otherwise undefeated Southern Cal), Rutgers gained possession after an Arizona State punt at its own 32 and moved to the Sun Devil 47 in four plays. David Dorn then went off his right tackle, reversed his field and raced the distance down the left side for the game’s first score. Kennan Startzell’s extra point made it a 7-0 ball game early and the visitors were shocked further when Ed Steward recovered a fumble and Startzell booted his longest-ever field goal to that point in his career. The 46-yarder gave the Scarlet a 10-0 lead.
On the next Arizona State possession, Bob Hynoski intercepted a Mark Malone pass and raced 36 yards to the Sun Devil four-yard line. The count might have gone to 17-0 but Dorn fumbled at the two and the visitors took over.
Unable to add to the lead, Rutgers gave up the ball at the Scarlet 44 with 1:53 remaining in the half and the Sun Devils got on the scoreboard when Malone hit Bob Weathers in the end zone from the 14. A play earlier, Malone was trapped on a fourth and 10 play but shook loose to connect for a first down. Instead of 17-0 or 10-0, it was a 10-7 game at the half.
Malone tossed 26 and 47-yard touchdowns in the third period to MVP John Mistler and Chris DeFrance to give Arizona State a 21-10 lead in the third period and ran in from the one early in the final frame for a 28-10 lead.
Lethargic for a period and a half, Rutgers rebounded with 5:49 left in the game when Ted Blackwell scored on a five-yard run and then caught a two-point conversion pass from Ed McMichael.
“They were on their way to a nice, neat orderly finish,” wrote syndicated columnist Jerry Izenberg. “And then, Kennan Startzell kicked the ball.
“Mechanically, it was the perfect squibbler. It had been done on a million football fields and when it works the kicking team recovers. The ball bounced off of Arizona State’s Morris Williams...it bounced off of Rutgers’ Mark Freeman...it skidded under the belly of Arizona State’s Henry Pollard and came to rest underneath Rutgers’ Craig Nielsen - in the Arizona State endzone. This is not unlike bunting for a home run.
“One official signalled touchdown - six points for Rutgers. A second apparently signalled touchback - Arizona’s ball on its own 20. A third signalled toward the heavens with outstretched hands, which according to the annotated NCAA Hymnal and Prayer Book means: Why me, O Lord?
“But, back upfield lay a yellow flag. Rutgers was said to have been offsides on the kickoff and that ruling held. Instead of a 28-24 count and a possible 28-26 ballgame, the score reverted to 28-18 with 4:44 to go. In the game’s final minute, Malone scored on a four-yard run for the closing 34-18 scoreboard count.
The weather had cooperated, the 33,402 fans had had their fill, the ball had nearly bounced in Rutgers’ favor and it was a devil of a day. The Garden State Bowl would continue for three more years and would give way to the current post-season classic format.
--Written by Jerry Izenberg, a nationally-known columnist for the Star-Leger and a member of the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni.