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Rice runs Rutgers to first 3-0 start since 1981

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Ray Rice ran for 190 yards and two
touchdowns to lead Rutgers to a 24-7 victory over Ohio on Saturday,
giving the Scarlet Knights their first 3-0 start since 1981.

Rice was the lone bright spot for Rutgers' error-plagued
offense, scoring on a pair of 4-yard runs in collecting his fifth
straight 100-yard rushing game. Defense and special teams set up
all the Scarlet Knights' points against Ohio (2-1).

Linebacker Brandon Renkart recovered a fumble in the end zone
for a touchdown late in the first half and Jeremy Ito added a
29-yard field goal for the Scarlet Knights, who overcame a couple
of early miscues that put them behind for the first time this
season.

Austen Everson tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Christy
for Ohio, which was looking for its first 3-0 start since 1976. The
Bobcats raised some concerns about Rutgers quarterback situation,
picking off Mike Teel three times.

After beating North Carolina and Illinois, the biggest concern
for Rutgers in its homecoming game was a letdown.

The Scarlet Knights offense was off, but defense and special
teams forced four turnovers and blocked a field goal to help
overcame it.

On the second play from scrimmage, Teel threw a pass into the
hands of linebacker Matt Muncy, giving Ohio possession at the
Scarlet Knights 17. Everson, who completed a 20-yard third-down
pass to keep the drive alive, eventually found Christy on a
third-down, play-action pass for a 7-0 lead.

Ito, who had hit 12 straight field goals, missed a 31-yarder on
the next possession, but Rutgers defense got things going when
safety Ron Girault intercepted Everson and returned it 39 yards to
the Ohio 31.

Teel (6-of-16 for 83 yards) completed an 11-yard, third-down
pass to Shawn Tucker to keep the drive alive and Rice, who had 29
carries, went off the right side to tie the game.

Special teams took over on the next two series. With Ohio facing
a fourth-and-8 at its 34, James Townsend broke through after a low
snap and hit punter Matt Lasher, forcing a fumble. Kordell Young
recovered at the Bobcats 16, setting up Ito's field goal for a 10-7
lead.

The Bobcats were faced with another punt from their own 15 on
the next series and Rutgers came with an all-out rush. Lasher was
hit on the ensuing 23-yard punt but the officials didn't call a
penalty because the Scarlet Knights might have gotten a hand on the
ball.

Rutgers took over at the Bobcats 38 and needed only five plays
to score, with Rice dragging safety Michael Mitchell the final 2
yards for a 17-7 lead.

A 52-yard punt by Joe Radigan and an illegal block against Ohio
gave the Bobcats the ball at their own 5 with 1:24 left in the
half. On third down, Quintero Frierson sacked Everson in the end
zone, forcing a fumble that Renkart recovered for a touchdown.

It marked the second straight week the defense scored, the first
time Rutgers has done that since 1994.

Girault also blocked a short field goal attempt by Lasher in the
third quarter and Courtney Greene made a one-handed interception to
end another drive by Ohio in the fourth quarter.

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