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Rutgers storms Texas Bowl


The University of Rutgers waited 137 years for a bowl victory and a record crowd of 52,210 witnessed as the Scarlet Knights claimed victory over Kansas State in the inaugural Texas Bowl game with a final score of 37-10 at Reliant Stadium.


Sophomore running back Ray Rice was named the Texas Bowl MVP as he led the Scarlet Knights with 170 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown. Rice's 170 yards marked his 15 th career game with over 100 yards and the fifth time this season he eclipsed 150 yards in a game.

Rutgers dominated the statistical battle, most notably finishing with 478 total yards to Kansas State's 162, holding the Wildcats to just six first downs for the game.

Despite Rutgers getting off to a fast start with a 16-yard gain on the first offensive play of the game, the Scarlet Knights were unable to produce points and the first offensive series resulted in a 49-yard punt from senior punter Joe Radigan.

Two minutes later the Rutgers offense would return to the field and quickly put their first points on the board. Sophomore quarterback Mike Tell connected with freshman wide receiver Tim Brown on a 14-yard pass to make the score 7-0.  Brown's touchdown was the second of his career following a 72-yard touchdown reception in the Scarlet Knights' final regular season loss to West Virginia on Dec. 2.

On the KSU ensuing possession, the Wildcats' offense would be unable to produce points sending the Rutgers offense back on the field..

Rutgers would need only three plays and less than two minutes to put themselves ahead 14-0 with 2:42 remaining in the first quarter.

Rice rushed twice for 30 yards to take the Scarlet Knights into Wildcat territory. Mike Teel would then find Brown for a 49-yard pass into the end zone.

The Wildcats came out the second quarter and got right to work with a 33-yard reception by junior wide receiver Jordy Nelson on the first offensive play of the second quarter. An off-side penalty on the Scarlet Knights would take Kansas State to the Rutgers' 27-yard line from which senior kicker Jeff Snodgrass converted on a 44-yard field goal attempt.

Kansas State took advantage of Rutgers' inability to get on the scoreboard in the following possession. Senior Yamon Figurs returned a 36-yard punt 76 yards into the end zone to make the score 14-10.  Figurs' return for a touchdown was his second and the Wildcats' seventh special teams' touchdown this season.

The Wildcats seemed to gain momentum as Rutgers' kicker Jeremy Ito's 36-yard field goal attempt 5:11 left in the second quarter was no good. However, Ito would connect on a 46-yard field goal to send the teams into halftime with Rutgers leading 17-10.


The second half would be nothing like the first as the Rutgers' defense would come out dominant and keep KSU off the scoreboard. 

The Scarlet Knights dominated action in the second half and cruised to the 37-10 win.

The record crowd was the largest for a college bowl game in Houston that didn't feature a Texas team since 1972 where Tennessee defeated LSU 24-17 before 52,961 fans in the Bluebonnet Bowl.

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