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December 28, 2006

Rutgers' dream season ends with bowl win

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HOUSTON -Rutgers' most memorable season ended with another milestone victory.

Ray Rice rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown and Tim Brown caught two TD passes, and the 16th-ranked Scarlet Knights won a bowl game for the first time Thursday night, beating Kansas State 37-10 in the Texas Bowl.

Linebacker Quintero Frierson returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage of the second half and Rutgers (11-2) cruised from there, earning an 11th victory for the second time in the school's mostly forgettable 137 seasons.

Rice was named the game's Most Valuable Player after topping 100 yards for the 10th time this season and the 15th time in 25 career games. The 5-foot-9, 195-pound sophomore went over 150 yards for the fifth time this season.

The Scarlet Knights' seventh-ranked defense manhandled Kansas State's offense, holding the Wildcats to 160 total yards and six first downs. Freshman quarterback Josh Freeman finished 10 for 21 for 124 yards with two interceptions.

Kansas State (7-6) mustered only 94 yards after Frierson's return of Freeman's first interception put Rutgers up 24-10 only 33 seconds out of halftime.

The Wildcats' only touchdown came on Yamon Figurs' 76-yard punt return with 9:37 left in the second quarter.

The Scarlet Knights dropped two of their last three games after a 9-0 start and their 41-39 triple-overtime loss to West Virginia cost them the Big East's automatic berth in the Bowl Championship Series.

The players admitted that making the Texas Bowl was a letdown after they came so close to one of the big-money bowls. But once the disappointment wore off, the Knights said they rallied around the chance to earn the school's first bowl victory after going 1-11 just four seasons ago.

They looked like the more motivated team from the start on Thursday, jumping to a 14-0 lead in the first 12 minutes of the game.

For more coverage of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, visit ScarletNation.com; For more on the Kansas State Wildcats, visit WildcatReport.com.



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