7:00 PM ET, September 7, 2007
High Point Solutions Stadium, PISCATAWAY, NJ
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Ray Rice became the career rushing leader at No. 15 Rutgers, and still had to share the spotlight with his defense.
Rice rushed for 175 yards and scored three touchdowns, and the Scarlet Knights defense intercepted three passes and made a big fourth-quarter stand to hold off stubborn Navy 41-24 on Friday night.
"It was coming sooner or later," Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel said of Rice's record. "He deserves everything he's got, including the record. He is a tremendous football player, the heart and soul of the offense, and when we needed a play, he was there to make a play. He trains for games like this."
Rice scored on runs of 4 and 2 yards and caught his first touchdown pass on a 22-yard catch and run from Teel late in the first half.
Rice was a workhorse against Navy. He surpassed Terrell Willis' old rushing record of 3,114 with a 19-yard run on his second carry and put the game away with his short TD run on his 37th and final rush of the night.
"It really feels better when you win the game, too," said Rice, who now has 3,273 yards rushing in his career. "None of my individual stats mean that much. It's just another stat in the book. To do it here at Rutgers and have everyone supporting you is great."
Jeremy Ito kicked field of 28 and 20 yards as the Scarlet Knights (2-0) won their ninth straight game at home despite 11 penalties for 100 yards.
Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Campbell and scored on a 2-yard run, but he became the first Navy quarterback in 10 years to be intercepted three times in a game. And each pick was very costly for the Midshipmen (1-1).
"I got back threw and just made really poor decisions tonight," said Kaheaku-Enhada, who completed just five of 12 passes for 35 yards.
George Johnson got the first interception at the Navy 24 in the first quarter with Rutgers ahead 7-0. It set up Rice's first touchdown.
With Navy down 17-7 late in the first half, Kaheaku-Enhada, who had only thrown one interception in his last 56 attempts, drove the Middies to the Rutgers 4. On a second and goal, linebacker Damaso Munoz put pressure on the quarterback and he threw to ball right to safety Ron Girault in the end zone.
Rutgers went 80 yards on the ensuing possession and opened a 24-7 lead when Rice scored on the screen with 34 seconds left in the half.
Kaheaku-Enhada scored on the opening possession of the second half to cut the lead to 24-14, and cornerback Ketric Buffin intercepted Teel on the Scarlet Knights' next possession, giving Navy the ball at the Rutgers 34.
The Middies got a first down at the Rutgers 22, but Kaheaku-Enhada went play action after a time out and was intercepted in the back of the end zone by safety Courtney Greene.
"We have guys who make big plays," said Rutgers defensive tackle Eric Foster, who had 13 tackle and half of a sack. "Our safeties had two big interceptions. We have guys who make plays and that's what great defenses have."
The last time Navy was intercepted three times in a game was against Tulane in 2000. The last Navy quarterback to throw three interceptions in a game was Chris McCoy against Notre Dame on Nov. 1, 1997.
Rutgers followed the last pick with a 15-play drive that Ito capped with his 20-yarder for a 27-14 lead.
Navy had one more chance to get back in the game, moving from its own 20 to the Rutgers 18 for a first down. However, three plays netted two yards and the Middies settled for a 34-yard field goal by Matt Harmon, cutting the lead to 27-17.
Teel's long touchdown pass to Britt and Rice's late 2-yard scamper for his sixth touchdown of the season nailed down Rutgers' third straight win over Navy.
"Rice is a great running back," Navy linebacker Irv Spencer said. "Everything the papers say about him is true."
Navy backup quarterback Jarod Bryant closed out the scoring with a 2-yard run with less than a minute to play. The Midshipmen, who rushed for 361 yards in a win over Temple last week, ran for 254 against Rutgers.
"Navy is a tough, tough outfit," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "I'm glad we have the victory and have this behind us."
The game drew a crowd of 43,514, the third largest in Rutgers' history and the fourth straight sellout, a school record.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... QB Mike Teel found Kenny Britt on a 53-yard TD to put Rutgers up 34-17 with 9:05 left in the third quarter.
Gameball goes to... Ray Rice. Another noteworthy performance by a Heisman candidate. The Rutgers RB ran for 175 yards and 2 TDs.
Stat of the game... 3. The number of interceptions thrown by QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (5-12, 35 yards, TD) for passing-challenged Navy.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-15||6-10|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||1-1|
|TD||8:29||SHAMAR GRAVES 12 YD PASS FROM MIKE TEEL (JEREMY ITO KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 40 yards.
|TD||4:58||RAY RICE 4 YD RUN (JEREMY ITO KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 25 yards.
|TD||0:16||REGGIE CAMPBELL 3 YD PASS FROM KAIPO-NOA KAHEAKU-ENHADA (MATTHEW HARMON KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 57 yards.
|FG||9:49||JEREMY ITO 28 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 51 yards.
|TD||0:34||RAY RICE 22 YD PASS FROM MIKE TEEL (JEREMY ITO KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||12:19||KAIPO-NOA KAHEAKU-ENHADA 2 YD RUN (MATTHEW HARMON KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 67 yards.
|FG||2:34||JEREMY ITO 20 YD FG|
Drive info: 15 plays, 77 yards.
|FG||11:01||MATTHEW HARMON 34 YD FG|
Drive info: 16 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||9:05||KENNY BRITT 53 YD PASS FROM MIKE TEEL (JEREMY ITO KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 71 yards.
|TD||2:17||RAY RICE 2 YD RUN (JEREMY ITO KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 50 yards.
|TD||0:52||JAROD BRYANT 4 YD RUN (MATTHEW HARMON KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 42 yards.