PISCATAWAY, NJ - Ray Rice (New Rochelle, NY) and Brian Leonard (Gouverneur, NY) combined for 167 yards rushing and five touchdowns as Rutgers rolled to a 56-7 victory over Howard on Saturday at Rutgers Stadium. With the win, the Scarlet Knights improved to 4-0 and are off to their best start since 1980.
Senior TE Clark Harris opened RU's scoring with a 45-yard TD pass from Mike Teel.
Rice, the nation’s fourth leading rusher entering the game, finished with 105 yards on 23 carries, his sixth consecutive 100-yard game. Leonard picked up 62 yards on 10 carries and caught three passes for 27 yards. He passed Louisville’s Michael Bush for second place on the NCAA’s touchdown list among active players.
Rutgers efficiently built a 28-0 lead by halftime, scoring touchdowns on four of its eight possessions in the first half. Leonard and Rice combined to account for 119 yards on the ground while quarterback Mike Teel (Oakland, NJ) fired a 45-yard touchdown to tight end Clark Harris (Manahawkin, NJ) on the Scarlet Knights’ first offensive series. It also marked the first time this season RU scored on its opening possession.
The Scarlet Knights’ defense, meanwhile, forced two fumbles by Howard deep in their own territory in the first half and held the Bison to one-of-seven of third down conversions. A fumble recovery by Ron Girault (Spring Valley, NY) at Howard’s 22 yard line set the Scarlet Knights up for their third score of the day, a one-yard burst by Leonard with 8:45 to play before the half. Rice finished off a six-play drive with less than five minutes to play in the half when he scored from three yards out.
Rutgers got on the scoreboard in the third quarter as Teel engineered an eight-play, 66-yard drive that took 3:20 off the clock. Rice’s one-yard run made the score 35-0 and he found the end zone for his third score of the day less then three minutes later. Freshman Kordell Young (Westville, NJ) relieved Rice in the backfield midway through the third quarter and finished with 20 yards on seven carries, including his first two collegiate touchdowns. Classmate Jack Corcoran (Hammonton, NJ) was also impressive as he gained 30 yards on four carries.
Teel was nine-of-16 through the air for 133 yards and a touchdown before being giving way to redshirt freshman Jabu Lovelace (Tenafly, NJ) in the third quarter.
Defensively, Rutgers limited Howard to just 172 yards of total offense and forced nine punts. Gary Watts (Miami, FL) finished with a team-high six tackles while William Beckford (Belle Glade, FL) and Eric Foster (Homestead, FL) each had five stops. Courtney Greene (New Rochelle, NY) added a third quarter interception that set up one of Rice’s three touchdowns.
Rutgers returns to action this Friday, Sept. 29, when it travels to Tampa, FL, for its BIG EAST opener against South Florida at Raymond James Stadium. Kick off is slated for 8:00 p.m. and the game can be seen nationally on ESPN.
With today's 56-7 victory Howard, Rutgers improves to 4-0 for the first time since 1980.
Today's 56-7 victory marks the largest margin of victory in the Greg Schiano era and the largest since Sept. 9, 2000 when the Scarlet Knights beat Buffalo, 59-0.
The 56 points is also the most scored by Rutgers in the Greg Schiano era and the most since the Scarlet Knights scored 59 points (59-0) against Buffalo on Sept. 9, 2000.
With today's 56-7 victory over Howard, Rutgers has allowed just 30 points through its first four games this season, marking the lowest four-game total since 1980 when the team allowed 26 points.
Rutgers totaled 215 yards rushing against Howard, marking the third time in four games this season the Scarlet Knights have amassed 200 yards or more on the ground this season. They are averaging 128.8 yards per game on the ground this season.
Rutgers' rushing totals this season
Date Opponent No. Yards TDs
9/2 at North Carolina 41 217 3
9/9 Illinois 40 166 1
9/16 Ohio 38 217 2
9/22 Howard 53 215 7
Totals 172 815 13
With DB Courtney Greene's (New Rochelle, N.Y.) third-quarter interception (his second in as many games) Rutgers now has seven interceptions this season, surpassing their total of six in all 12 games last season.
The 45-yard touchdown strike from QB Mike Teel (Oakland, N.J.) to TE Clark Harris (Manahawkin, N.J.) in the first quarter marked the first time this season Rutgers has scored on its opening drive.
Senior FB Brian Leonard's (Gouverneur, N.Y.) finished with two touchdowns against Howard, marking his 41st and 42nd career TDs. He passed Michael Bush of Louisville for second place on the NCAA active career touchdown list.
Leonard's second-quarter touchdown marked his second rushing TD of the game and ninth career multiple-rushing TD game. It is his 13th career multiple-touchdown game, including both rushing and receiving TDs.
Leonard's two rushing TDs also moved him into fourth place on the Rutgers all-time rushing TD list with 29 career rushing touchdowns, passing Harvey Grimsley's (1946-49) total of 28 in his career.
With 63 rushing yards against Howard, Leonard moved into fifth place on the Rutgers all-time rushing yardage list with 2,468 yards. He passed Jacki Crooks (1996-99) who finished his career with 2,434 yards.
With Leonard's 27 receiving yards against the Bison, he moved into sixth place on the school's all-time receiving yards list with 1,727 career yards, passing Tim Odell's (1977-80) mark of 1,702.
Sophomore QB Mike Teel's (Oakland, N.J.) first quarter touchdown pass to Clark Harris (Manahawkin, N.J.) for 45 yards was Teel's longest career completion.
Sophomore RB Ray Rice (New Rochelle, N.Y.) recorded 105 yards on the ground against Howard, extending his 100-yard game streak to six. Rice's six-straight 100-yard performances are the second longest in school history. His streak of six consecutive 100-yard games is the second longest in the country behind Northern Illinois' Garrett Wolfe, who has nine-straight through today's games.
RU Consecutive 100-Yard Games
Player Number of Games Year(s)
1. JJ Jennings 7 Nov. 25, 1972-Nov. 7, 1973
2. Ray Rice 6 Nov. 26, 2005-present
3. Jacki Crooks 5 Oct. 31, 1998-Sept. 4, 1999
Bryant Mitchell 5 Oct. 26, 1968-Nov. 23, 1968
Curt Edwards 5 Nov. 1, 1975-Nov. 29, 1975
Rice, who entered the game fourth in the nation in rushing yards and scoring, is averaging 151.3 yards per game through the first four games. He has scored nine touchdowns this season.
Rice's Rushing Totals this season
Date Opponent Carries Yards TDs
9/2/06 North Carolina 31 201 3
9/9/06 Illinois 23 108 1
9/16/06 Ohio 29 190 2
9/23/06 Howard 23 105 3
Totals 106 605 9
True freshman RB Kordell Young (Westville, N.J.) scored his first and second career touchdowns against Howard. Both occurred in the second half.
Seniors Brian Leonard (Gouverneur, N.Y.) and Clark Harris (Manahawkin, N.J.) extended their receptions streaks against Howard. Leonard finished with three catches, while Harris registered a pair of receptions. Leonard has caught at least one pass in 38-straight games, which ranks second in BIG EAST history (two behing WVU's Khori Ivy from 1997-2000). Harris' streak was extended to 34 games which ties him with Pittsburgh's Latef Grim (1998-2000) for fourth place in league history.