Army must stop Ray Rice

See Ray run. Rutgers has a lot the past three seasons and the program has been taken to new heights. Everyone one knows Rutgers' Ray is Ray Rice and he is the best player to play at Michie Stadium in a long time. Stopping the junior running back will served as a stiff test for the Black Knights.

"Everyone knows who he is and after watching the film he lives up to the hype," Army strong safety Caleb Campbell said. "He's a great running back. He sits back there and protects the quarterback very well and when he gets the ball he runs well."

Rice is Rutgers' all-time rushing leader in career rushing yards (4,171) and career rushing touchdowns (39). He leads the Big East and is sixth nationally in rushing yards per game (139.7). If Rutgers' record wasn't 5-4, Rice would still be a Heisman Trophy candidate. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has done a wonderful job raising the program from the depths of Division I football. But it's no coincidence that the Scarlet Knights took off once Rice arrived in Piscataway, N.J.

In 2005, Rice's freshman year, Rutgers had its first winning season in 14 years and qualified for its second bowl game in school history. Rice finished the year as a starter, putting up 1,120 yards and five touchdowns. He blew up last season, gaining national attention. Rice gained 1,794 rushing yards in 2006 with 20 touchdowns. His total in 2006 set Rutgers' single-season rushing yardage record, shattering J. J. Jennings' mark of 1,353 set in 1973. Behind Rice, Rutgers won a school-record 11 games and registered the school's highest ever season-ending national poll ranking, finishing at #12 in both the Associated Press and Coaches Polls. He finished seventh in last year's Heisman Trophy voting.

"We all know about him," said Army coach Stan Brock of Rice, who has 1,257 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns this year. "I don't think you can do that (put nine men in the box). They have two great receivers and I don't think you can match up our corners just to go out there and match-up in one-on-one. They are very good. It's going to take a full team effort."

Air Force's Chad Hall is a great running back. He showed that last week by trampling all over Army for 275 yards in a 30-10 Falcons' win. But Hall is still not in the class of Rice.

If Hall put up 275 against Army, imagine what Rice could do. Well, 275 might be pushing it, even for Rice. But Army will have a hard time stopping. He's quick, runs low to the ground and always finds the holes. Once he's in the open field, it's time to See Ray run. Run and run and run.

"He is great in close spaces, great in wide open spaces, great at running you over," Brock said. "He is the complete package, an NFL running back. There is no question, he is very, very special."


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