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Rutgers, Down Early cruises past Syracuse, 38-14

Source by Alex Delanian

Saturday October 13, 2007, 4:05 PM



Chris Faytok/The Star-LedgerRutgers Jean Beljour #32 is hit after a reception by Syracuse defensive end Jameel McClain #52 and Syracuse safety Dowayne Davis during the second half of the game between the Rutgers and Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - After spotting Syracuse an early two-touchdown lead, Rutgers came roaring back behind strong rushing from Ray Rice, a steady effort from Mike Teel, a special teams touchdown and a big-play defense to record an easy 38-14 victory at the Carrier Dome.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Rutgers, which improved to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big East. More importantly, the Scarlet Knights appear to have regained the look they had last season, perhaps just in time for Thursday's showdown with No. 6 South Florida in Piscataway.

Rice ran for 196 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries; Teel went 20-for-29 for 310 yards and two scores; and Kenny Britt caught six passes for 176 yards and a score.

But for all the offense, it was special teams play that made the difference.

Trailing 14-7 early in the second quarter, Devon McCourtey broke through the line untouched to cleanly block a punt, which Rutgers recovered on the 1 yard line. Rice scored one play later to tie the score.

On its next possession, Rutgers used a 42-yard crossing pattern from Britt - who simply outran Syracuse for the final 20 yards - to take a 21-7. Jeremy Ito added a 25-yard field goal to give Rutgers a 24-14 halftime lead.



Chris Faytok/The Star-LedgerRutgers head coach Greg Schiano winds up to pump his fist in the air after leading his team in singing the Alma Mater after the game between the Rutgers and Syracuse at the Carrier Dome .

Rutgers put the game out of reach in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. Rice scored on a 2-yard run for a 31-14 lead, then - one play after an interception - Teel found tight end Kevin Brock on a 32-yard score for a 38-14 lead with 13:03 remaining.

Rutgers dug itself an early hole. Teel's first pass was intercepted and returned 51 yards to the Rutgers 21 Three plays later, Andrew Robinson found Mike Williams for a 16-yard score just two minutes into the game.

On its next possession, Syracuse (1-6, 1-2) drove 84 yards on seven plays, scoring on a 15-yard run from Curtis Brinkley for a 14-0 lead.


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