TORONTO, ONTARIO – Junior All-America RB Ray Rice (New Rochelle, N.Y.) had one of the finest individual outings in college football history, rushing for a career-high 280 yards and four touchdowns to help the Scarlet Knights to their second-straight bowl victory. Saturday afternoon's 52-30 International Bowl victory marked the first time in 138 years of football at Rutgers University that the school won back-to-back bowl games (RU defeated Kansas State in the Texas Bowl, 2006).
The 52 points scored were the most in the school's bowl history. Including both individual and team marks, Rutgers set a total of nine bowl records at the International Bowl. Rutgers finished the season with 426 points on the year, setting the single season record (387 in 2006). The Scarlet Knights' eight wins in 2007 also marked just the second time since 1980 that RU have recorded an eight-win season and the 12th time in school history.
For his performance, Rice was named the International Bowl's Most Valuable Player. It was the second time in his bowl career that he received MVP honors after taking home the trophy at the 2006 Texas Bowl. Rice's 280 yards were the third most rushing yards in NCAA Bowl history and gave him his school record eighth-straight 100- yard game and sixth 200-yard game of his career. He has eclipsed the 100 yard rushing mark 25 times in 38 career games.
Rice entered the game with 1,732 yards on the season and with 280 for the game, he amassed a total of 2,012 yards, becoming the 13th player in NCAA history to go over the 2,000 yard mark in a single campaign. He also became the first BIG EAST player to rush for more than 2,000 yards and set both a conference and school record in single-season rushing (2,012). It was also Rice's first four-touchdown game of his career. He has scored multiple touchdowns in 13 games.
The Scarlet Knights got off to a hot start, opening the game with a touchdown score on the first drive for the fourth time this season. After an 18-yard kickoff return by freshman RB Mason Robinson (Somerville, N.J.), Rice broke off a 21-yard run to midfield. Junior QB Mike Teel (Oakland, N.J.) proceeded to complete two-of-three passes, including a 36-yard touchdown strike to sophomore WR Tim Brown (Miami, Fla.) as RU took a 7-0 lead.
On the touchdown pass, Teel tied former Scarlet Knight signal-callers Mike McMahon (2000) and Ryan Hart (2005) for the most TD passes in a season with 18. Teel went on to set a new record with two more passing touchdowns, finishing with 20 for the season. Teel completed 16-of-23 passes for 303 yards, his sixth 300 yard game of the season. He also set the second-best single-season passing record with 3,147 yards. The three touchdowns against Ball State marked his eighth multiple touchdown game of the year.
Rutgers forced a pair of punts on Ball State's next two possessions before taking over the ball on their own 30 yard line. The Scarlet Knights then drove 70 yards on six plays to take a 14-0 lead. During the drive, RU benefited from a pass interference call against Ball State to start things at midfield. Teel then completed a 22-yard pass to junior WR Tiquan Underwood (Lawrenceville, N.J.), but it was Rice who would do the most damage as he gained 33 yards on five carries.
Rice found pay dirt for his 21st rushing touchdown of the season, tying JJ Jennings for the most touchdowns in a season. With the one-yard run, Rice also tied the school's single-season rushing record with 1,794 yards which he set during the 2006 season. As a team the Scarlet Knights also established a new single season scoring mark with 388 points, eclipsing the previous record of 387 set last season.
Ball State would add a 47-yard field goal to close out the first quarter, pulling to within 11 points (14-3). Rutgers then opened the second quarter with a 12-play drive that went 48 yards, culminating with a 53-yard field goal by senior PK Jeremy Ito (Loma Linda, Calif.). The field goal was one of record-setting proportion as it marked the most field goals completed in a season (23) in school history. In addition to it tying Ito's career long (53 yards vs. USF, 9/29/06), the field goal was also the second longest in school history and the fifth longest in school history.
The Cardinals tacked on another field goal from 24 yards out to make it 17-6.
Rice helped the Scarlet Knights get out to an 18-point lead (24-6) with his second one-yard touchdown scamper of the afternoon. Rice had a hand in each of the six plays which went 40 yards, including an eight yard reception. With that second touchdown, Rice set a school single-season record with 22 rushing touchdowns.
Just before the halftime whistle, Ball State added its third field goal of the game as the Scarlet Knights entered the locker room with a 15-point lead (24-9).
After forcing a Ball State punt to begin the third quarter, the Scarlet Knights reclaimed possession, but was pinned on its own two yard line to start the drive. Rutgers again turned to its workhorse-back, who carried twice for eight yards, before exploding through the left side of the line for a career-best 90-yard touchdown carry.
The Cardinals cut into RU's lead with a six-yard touchdown pass from Nate Davis to Dante Love, making the score 31-16. Rutgers and Ball State traded possessions before the Scarlet Knights would increase their lead to 38-16 with Rice's fourth rushing touchdown of the game. Rice carried five times for 50 yards, while Teel completed a pair of passes from 21 yards during the drive.
A fumbled snap by BSU's Davis was recovered by senior LB Brandon Renkart (Piscataway, N.J.), leading to the Scarlet Knights next touchdown. RU made quick work of its next opportunity as Teel and Underwood connected for a 35-yard completion in the end zone on the first play of the drive. Rutgers forced a turnover-on-downs on the Cardinals next possession as the offense once again showed its quick strike ability with another Teel touchdown pass.
After a seven yard completion to Rice, Teel hooked up with sophomore WR Kenny Britt (Bayonne, N.J.) for a 47-yard touchdown reception to give the Scarlet Knights their largest lead of the game 52-23 (29 points). Britt ended the game with six catches for 125 yards, the sixth 100-yard receiving game of his career, tying him with Underwood for third place in school history.
BSU responded with a touchdown score of its own, but it proved to be too late as the Scarlet Knights came away with the 52-30 win.
Rutgers finished the season with an 8-5 record after a convincing 52-30 victory over Ball State in the International Bowl. For just the second time since 1980, the Scarlet Knights recorded an eight-win season. It was also the 12th time in 138 seasons of football at Rutgers the Scarlet Knights reached the eight-win plateau.
The 595 yards of total offense for the Scarlet Knights are the most-ever by a Greg Schiano coached team. It marked the fifth time this season Rutgers eclipsed the 500-yard mark in total offense.
Rutgers scored two first-quarter touchdowns to break the school record for points in a season. The Scarlet Knights finished the season with 426 points, which eclipsed the previous record of 387 set last season.
With a 36-yard strike from QB Mike Teel (Oakland, N.J.) to WR Tim Brown (Miami, Fla.) in the first quarter, it marked the second-straight game and fourth-time this season that Rutgers scored a touchdown on its opening possession of the game. It was the second-straight bowl that Teel found Brown for a touchdown on Rutgers' first scoring drive.
The 52 points scored by Rutgers is the most in the school's bowl history. Below are the other new bowl records set by Rutgers in today's game:
Team Records Individual Records
First Downs (25) Longest FG – Jeremy Ito (53)
Rushes (41) Rushing Yards – Ray Rice (280)
Rushing Yards (292) Rushing Touchdowns – Ray Rice (4)
Total Offense (595) Longest Rush – Ray Rice (90)
Receiving Yards – Kenny Britt (125)
Junior All-American RB Ray Rice (New Rochelle, N.Y.) finished with 280 yards on 35 carries and four rushing touchdowns. The 280 rushing yards are the third-most in NCAA bowl history.
Rutgers' and BIG EAST records achieved by Ray Rice in the International Bowl
Category New Record Old Record (Person and Year)
School single-game rushing total 280 243 at Army on Nov. 9
School single-season rushing yards 2,012 1,794 (Ray Rice in 2006)
BIG EAST single-season rushing yards 2,012 1,794 (Ray Rice in 2006)
School single-season scoring record 144 135 (Howard Talman in 1915)
School single-reason rushing touchdowns 24 21 (“JJ” Jennings in 1973)
School single-season all-purpose yards 2,251 2,026 (Terrell Willis in 1993)
School consecutive 100-yard games 8 7 (Ray Rice (Twice) and “JJ” Jennings)
Longest rushing play from scrimmage 90 (tied) 90 (Chad Bosch at Temple 10/26/96)
Longest rushing touchdown 90 unavailable
Rice became the first player in Rutgers and BIG EAST history and the 13th player in NCAA history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. He ended the season with 2,012 rushing yards.
Rice achieved his first four-rushing-touchdown game and 13th multiple rushing touchdown game in 38 career contests. The four touchdowns are the third-most in a single-game in school history, one shy of the record.
Rice recorded the sixth 200-yard rushing game and the 25th 100-yard rushing game in 38 career games. Both are school records.
Rice has rushed for over 100 yards in all three bowl games he has played in. He finished with 170 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries in the 2006 Texas Bowl and 108 yards on 20 carries in the 2005 Insight Bowl.
Junior QB Mike Teel (Oakland, N.J.) was 16-of-25 for 303 yards and three touchdowns. For the season, Teel threw 20 touchdown passes, the most in Rutgers single-season history. He passed Ryan Hart's 2005 total and Mike McMahon's 2000 total of 18 touchdown passes for the record.
Teel ended the season with 3,147 yards passing, the second-best total in school single-season history.
Senior PK Jeremy Ito (Loma Linda, Calif.) tied his career long and set an International Bowl record with a successful 53-yard field goal in the second quarter. It is the second-longest in school history, two yards shy of the school record. It is also the fifth-longest in BIG EAST history.
Ito also broke the school single-season record for field goals with his 23rd field goal of the season in the second quarter of Saturday's game.
Ito is one of six players in NCAA history to record at least 80 career field goals. The all-time scoring leader in Rutgers and BIG EAST history, Ito finished with his career with 400 points (fifth in NCAA history).
Junior FS Courtney Greene (New Rochelle, N.Y.) moved into eighth place on the Rutgers career tackles list with his 10-tackle performance in the International Bowl. Greene has 299 tackles for his career.
With six receptions for 125 yards sophomore WR Kenny Britt (Bayonne, N.J.), who already owns the school single-season record for receiving yards with 1,232 this season, moved into a tie for fourth place with 62 receptions in 2007.
The 1,232 yards receiving led the BIG EAST in 2007 and is the fifth-best total in single-season history by a BIG EAST player.
Britt also tied Reggie Funderburk (1994) for the third-most touchdown receptions in school single-season history with eight after his fourth-quarter touchdown.
Junior WR Tiquan Underwood (Lawrenceville. N.J.), who finished with the second-most yards in a season in school history with 1,100 in 2007, moved into third place in single-season receptions with a team-high 65 this season, following his three-catch, 72-yard performance in the International Bowl.
Underwood caught a third-quarter touchdown pass in the International Bowl to move into a tie with Steve Harper (1995), Chris Brantley (1992) and Mark Twitty (1975) for fourth place in school single-season history with seven touchdowns.