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No. 16 Rutgers Dominates Kansas State in Texas Bowl, 37-10
  • Posted on December 28, 2006 11:59:06 PM
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  • HOUSTON (AP) -- 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 Thursday night, 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.

    Tim Brown
    Tim Brown scores his second touchdown in the first quarter.
    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.

    The Scarlet Knights dropped two of their last three games after a 9-0 start and their 41-39 triple-overtime loss to West Virginia cost them the Big East's automatic berth in the Bowl Championship Series.

    The players admitted that making the Texas Bowl was a letdown after they came so close to one of the big-money bowls. But once the disappointment wore off, the Knights said they rallied around the chance to earn the school's first bowl victory after going 1-11 just four seasons ago.

    They looked like the more motivated team from the start on Thursday, jumping to a 14-0 lead in the first 12 minutes of the game.

    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.

    Kansas State was playing in a bowl for the 12th time in 14 seasons, but for the first time since the Fiesta Bowl following the 2003 season. The Wildcats dropped to 6-6 in those dozen.


    Team Notes

    The 37-10 victory over Kansas State in the Texas Bowl….

    Is Rutgers’ first ever bowl championship

    Is the first win in the month of December for Rutgers since the 1878 season when the Scarlet Knights defeated CCNY on Dec. 7. It is the second ever victory in the month.

    Is the first 11-win season since the 1976 campaign and the second in school history.

    Ties a school record for single-season wins.

    Makes Rutgers one of just 10 teams in the nation currently with 11 wins.

    Is the first against a member of the Big XII Conference, moving its record to 1-3 all time against the league.

    Is the first in the state of Texas.

    Did not allow an offensive touchdown to Kansas State.

    Finished the season with an 11-2 record.

    In the 16-year history of the BIG EAST Conference, Rutgers is only the fifth team to win 11 or more games in a single season, joining West Virginia, Louisville, Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech.

    Rutgers out-gained Kansas State 479-162 in total net yardage in the game. The Scarlet Knights averaged a season-high 7.4 yards per play. RU averaged more than seven yards per game in each of its last two games.

    In six of its 13 games this season, Rutgers held its opponent under 200 yards after limiting Kansas State to 162 yards in the Texas Bowl.

    Rutgers outscored its opponent 103-28 in the first quarter during the 2006 campaign. The Scarlet Knights shut out the Wildcats 14-0 in the first quarter of the Texas Bowl.

    Rutgers had a pair of 100-yard receivers in the same game for the first time since Oct. 23, 2004 at Pittsburgh. Both senior tight end Clark Harris (Manahawkin, N.J.) (six receptions for 122 yards) and freshman wide receiver Tim Brown (Miami, Fla.) (four receptions for 101 yards) each topped the century mark in the Texas Bowl, On Oct. 23, 2004, both Tres Moses (113 yards) and Harris (100 yards) hit the century mark.

    Player Notes

    Sophomore All-American running back Ray Rice (New Rochelle, N.Y.) earned Texas Bowl MVP honors after rushing for 170 yards on 24 carries with one touchdown.

    In 25 career games, Rice has scored 25 touchdowns.

    He moved into third place on the all-time rushing list at Rutgers with 2,914 yards. After just two seasons, Rice needs 200 yards to tie Terrell Willis (1993-95) as Rutgers’ all-time career rushing leader.

    The 170 rushing yards marked Rice’s 15th career 100-yard rushing game in his 25-game career. It is the fifth time this season Rice has gone over 150 yards on the ground.

    He set a new single-season record for rushing attempts (335), while adding to his single-season rushing record, completing his sophomore campaign with 1,794 yards. He finished second on the single-season chart with 20 rushing touchdowns in RU history.

    With a first-quarter reception, senior three-time First Team All-American fullback Brian Leonard (Gouverneur, N.Y.) completed his career with a catch in all 47 of his career games at Rutgers. He is the school’s all-time reception leader with 207 receptions.

    Junior kicker Jeremy Ito (Loma Linda, Calif.) has seven career field goals in two bowl games. He is 7-for-9 in field goal attempts in bowl games. Ito was a perfect 4-for-4 in last year’s Insight Bowl.

    Ito surpassed Brian Leonard (Gouverneur, N.Y.) as Rutgers’ all-time scoring leader with 13 points (three field goals and four extra points) in the game. He now has 280 in his career, eclipsing Leonard’s 272 career points.

    True freshman wide receiver Tim Brown (Miami, Fla.) earned his first career start in the Texas Bowl.

    Brown scored the first touchdown in Texas Bowl history, hauling in a 14-yard pass from quarterback Mike Teel (Oakland, N.J.). Later in the quarter, Brown caught a 49-yard touchdown pass from Teel for RU’s second touchdown of the game. Brown has seven career receptions, three of which have gone for touchdowns. He has three touchdown receptions in his last two games. Brown also set new career highs in receptions (4) and yards (101).

    Senior tight end Clark Harris (Manahawkin, N.J.) moved into fifth place on the Rutgers all-time receiving yards list completing his career with 2,015 receiving yards. He had seven catches for a career-high 122 yards. In last year’s Insight Bowl, Harris had six catches for 98 yards and a touchdown.

    Senior linebacker Quintero Frierson (Coral Gables, Fla.) recorded his first career interception in the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, returning the INT 27 yards for a touchdown. It was the second touchdown return of his career and the second this season. Frierson recovered a blocked punt in the end zone against Connecticut.

    In sophomore quarterback Mike Teel’s last three games of the 2006 season, he was 45-of-69 for 692 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. Teel averaged 230.7 yards per game, while registering a 173.37 pass efficiency rating and completing 65.2 percent of his passes.

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