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October 13, 2007

Rutgers runs over Orange

Game Ticker | box score

SYRACUSE, N.Y.(AP) Ray Rice ran for 196 yards and three touchdowns and Rutgers ended a two-game losing streak with a 38-14 victory over Syracuse on Saturday.

Rice scored on TD runs of 7, 1 and 2 yards for the Scarlet Knights (4-2, 1-1 Big East), who dropped out of the Top 25 after last week's loss to Cincinnati. Kenny Britt chipped in with six catches for 176 yards and one TD, helping Rutgers overcome an early 14-0 deficit in its first road game.

Syracuse (1-6, 1-2), a week after allowing the most points ever in a home game - a 55-14 loss to West Virginia - started strong but allowed too many big plays.

Behind Mike Teel's passes to Britt and the power running of Rice, Rutgers scored 24 straight points to close the first half. Meanwhile, the defense sacked quarterback Andrew Robinson six times and held the Orange scoreless after the first nine minutes.

Rice, with the 18th 100-yard game of his career, tied Amos Zereoue of West Virginia for fifth in the Big East with 38 touchdowns.

Teel, who injured the thumb on his throwing hand last week, shook off an interception on his first pass and finished 20-of-29 for 310 yards.

Linebacker Ben Maljovec intercepted Teel's pass in the left flat and returned it 52 yards to the Rutgers 21-yard line. Two plays later, Robinson hit Mike Williams on the left side at the 12, and he scored to give Syracuse a 7-0 lead two minutes into the game.

The Orange moved ahead 14-0 after forcing the Scarlet Knights to punt. Robinson hit tight end Jawad Nesheiwat for 38 yards to start the drive and Curtis Brinkley completed it with a 15-yard TD run.

Rutgers retaliated late in the first quarter. Teel hit Britt in the right flat, and he outmuscled cornerback Nick Chestnut for 40 yards to set up Rice's 7-yard TD run.

Rice scored again early in the second on a 1-yard run to tie it at 14-all. The score was set up by a blocked punt by Devin McCourty, who stormed through the middle of the line untouched. Julian Hayes fell on the ball as he rolled into the end zone but was ruled down at the 1.

Rutgers scored again after Syracuse failed to gain a first down on its third straight possession. Teel hit the 6-foot-4 Britt for 21 yards, and two plays later Britt scored on a 42-yard catch-and-run over the middle, easily shaking off a tackle attempt after catching the ball inside the 30-yard line.

Britt's 41-yard reception on a flea-flicker helped set up a 25-yard field goal by Jeremy Ito to give Rutgers a 24-14 halftime lead.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, though Syracuse twice drove inside the Rutgers 40. Courtney Greene made a touchdown-saving tackle at the Rutgers 35 after a 19-yard gain by Brinkley, who finished with a season-high 98 yards rushing. But the drive stalled and the Scarlet Knights held on a fourth-and-6 play.

Rice quickly made Syracuse pay. He gained 22 yards on the second play of the fourth quarter and scored from the 2 to give Rutgers a 31-14 lead.

Jonathan Freeny intercepted Robinson's tipped pass on Syracuse's next possession and Teel hit tight end Kevin Brock for a 32-yard touchdown on the next play.

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