Friday, October 19, 2007

Rutgers - South Florida post game notes

Ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll, South Florida (6-1, 1-1 BIG EAST) is the highest-ranked opponent that Rutgers (5-2, 2-1 BIG EAST) has ever defeated.

The attendance of 44,267 is the largest crowd in Rutgers Stadium history. It eclipsed last season’s stadium-record crowd of 44,111 vs. #3 Louisville (Nov. 9, 2006). The crowd of 44,267 is the eighth-straight sellout at Rutgers Stadium, the longest streak in school history.

The Rutgers defense had seven sacks against USF and now has 12 in the last two weeks. The Rutgers offense, meanwhile, did not allow a sack against the Bulls.

The Rutgers defense held USF to 2-for-14 on third down attempts in the game.

Rutgers held USF DE George Selvie to two total tackles and one quarterback hurry. Selvie entered the game as the NCAA leader with 11.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles-for-losses.

Rutgers was a perfect 3-for-3 in the red zone and is 25-of-26 inside the red zone this season.

Rutgers is 7-0 when junior RB Ray Rice (New Rochelle, N.Y.) has at least 30 attempts in a game. He finished the USF game with 39 attempts for 181 yards. The Scarlet Knights are also 16-3 when Rice rushes for 100 yards or more in a game.

Player Notes

Junior RB Ray Rice (New Rochelle, N.Y.) surpassed West Virginia’s Amos Zereoue (1999-2002; 3,907) for second place all-time in BIG EAST history in rushing yards. Rice now has 3,913 career rushing yards.

Rice became the first USF opponent in 15 games to rush for at least 100 yards against the Bulls. He was also the last one to do it in last season’s victory when he amassed 202 yards on 35 carries in Tampa. In three career games against USF, Rice is averaging 180.3 yards rushing per contest.

Rice vs. USF

Year Rushes Yards TDs

2005 26 158 0

2006 35 202 2

2007 39 181 0

Total 100 541 2

Rice’s 19th career 100-yard game ties a school record originally set by “JJ” Jennings (1971-73).

Rice has rushed for more than 50 yards in the first quarter in four of seven games this season after his 52 yard, 12-carry performance against the Bulls. He also achieved the feat against Buffalo (9-78), Navy (7-51) and Maryland (8-62).

Rice has 999 yards through seven games this season. Rice is one yard shy of 1,000 yards for the third consecutive season. He would be the first player in 138 seasons of Rutgers football to post three straight 1,000-yard seasons.

Junior WR Tiquan Underwood (Lawrenceville, N.J.) surpassed 100 yards in receiving for the fifth time this season with 114 yards on five receptions. He is the first Scarlet Knight to record five 100-yard receiving games since Tres Moses (2001-05) achieved the feat in 2004.

With Underwood’s total against the Bulls, he moved up to fourth-place in Rutgers single-season history in receiving yards with 789 yards on 39 catches.

Senior PK/P Jeremy Ito (Loma Linda, Calif.) completed his first career pass attempt against USF. Facing a 4 th-and-8 in the first quarter, Ito lined up for a punt, but upon receiving the snap, threw a 36-yard completion to senior WR James Townsend (Delran, N.J.). The reception was Townsend’s first of the season.

With a 51-yard, third-quarter field goal, Ito now has two career field goals of 50 yards or more against USF. Last season, Ito was successful on a career-long 53 yarder in Tampa in what proved to be the winning score against the Bulls. It was also Ito’s fifth career field goal of 50 yards or more.

Sophomore holder Andrew DePaola (Hereford, Md.) recorded his first career pass attempt, pass completion and touchdown with a 15-yard touchdown completion to junior TE Kevin Brock (Hackensack, N.J.) on a 4th-and-3 fake field goal play.

True freshman George Johnson (Glassboro, N.J.) registered a career-high seven tackles against USF. His previous career high was five stops against Cincinnati on Oct. 6 of this year.

Sophomore strong safety Zaire Kitchen (Hightstown, N.J.) totaled a career-high six tackles and recorded his first career interception on USF’s final offensive play of the game.

Other Notes

Several New York metropolitan-area athletes, including Mets’ third baseman David Wright and former Rutgers offensive lineman and current New York Giants starting center Shaun O’Hara were on the sidelines. Also in attendance were Michael Strahan (New York Giants Defensive End), Plaxico Burress (New York Giants Wide Receiver), Brandon Jacobs (New York Giants Running Back), Derrick Ward (New York Giants Running Back), Reuben Droughns (New York Giants Running Back), and Kawika Mitchell (New York Giants Linebacker).

Eleven NFL teams were also in attendance scouting the game.

Scouts from the Orange, Fiesta, Sun and Meineke Car Care Bowls were in attendance.

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