#16 Rutgers Opens '07 with 38-3 Victory

Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood led an offensive explosion for Rutgers, which resulted in the first victory of the season for the Scarlet Knights over Buffalo, 38-3. The game was played in front of 43,091 fans at Rutgers Stadium, the third largest home crowd in Rutgers' history.

Tiquan Underwood caught 10 passes for 248 yards and 2 touchdowns, setting a new school record for most receiving yards ever in a single game.

"It was pretty nice to be put in the category as those guys, but as a team we have bigger things ahead of us," Underwood said.

The two touchdown catches for Underwood netted 65 and 66 yards respectively. The junior out of Lawrenceville scored his first touchdown pass on a catch over the middle, cut back twice and scored the touchdown near the RU sideline for the 65-yard strike. The 66-yard touchdown came on another ball over the center of the field that was slightly overthrown. Underwood tipped the ball to himself, and came down with it, and went in for the touchdown untouched because of a double move Underwood used at the line of scrimmage to get open.

"We had a few busts in our coverage, but (Mike) Teel put the ball on the money and made the plays," Buffalo Head Coach Turner Gill said.

Sophomore Kordell Young returned the opening kickoff to the Buffalo 43, on a 56-yard kickoff return, a career long. The opening drive lasted one minute and 23 seconds and was capped off by a 34-yard run by running back Ray Rice. Rice went on to score three total rushing touchdowns.

Quarterback Mike Teel worked the field solidly going 16 for 23 for 328 yards with 2 touchdowns, setting a career high in passing yards. Teel was helped out behind an offensive line that gave Teel a lot of time to unload the ball.

"They protected extremely well," Teel said. "I made some checks at the line and they picked up all the checks. They ran block extremely well for Ray, he had three touchdowns, and it shows how well they played."

Star recruit offensive guard Anthony Davis saw his first action of the year and played solidly in his first action.

"Anthony has definitely done a good job trying to get better, every single day," senior offensive tackle Jeremy Zuttah said. "He got a couple series in today and did a good job."

The defense for Rutgers let Buffalo get across midfield three times in the first half. Penalties on the Scarlet Knights also contributed to the Bulls moving the ball. RU's defense gave up three offsides and a roughing the passer penalty at different points of the game.

Buffalo finally got on the board with a scoring drive that was capped off with a 35-yard field goal by Bulls' kicker A.J. Principe, with 3:19 left in the third quarter, cutting the Rutgers' lead to 28-3.

Coach Schiano's defense came through in the biggest spots of the game, however. The Bulls were 4 for 15 on third down conversions.

"We have to give credit to Rutgers' defense," Coach Gill said. "They were good last year and they were pretty good this year."

Rutgers ran many base packages and did not look like it wanted to tip their hand on offense or defense. Coach Schiano said they would have to do a better job to get the tight end and fullback positions involved in the game. The Scarlet Knights did attempt one flea flicker that fell incomplete.

Kicker Jeremy Ito responded well to the kickoff line being moved back to the 30-yard line. Perhaps the biggest NCAA rules change during the offseason, college kickoffs are now the same length as NFL kickoffs. Ito averaged 66.7 yards per kickoff or the opponent receiving the ball on the three-yard line.

The Scarlet Knights will not be worrying about this game long, because Navy is coming to town next weekend with a variety of looks that the coaching staff will have to prepare for. In the meantime, the players know that there is always something to improve on.

"I am never satisfied," Zuttah said. "You always have to strive to get better everyday at everything you do."

Defensive tackle Vantrise Studivant started in place of the injured Pete TverdovKenny Britt was the second leading receiver for RU with four catches for 59 yardsRutgers defense registered three sacks on Buffalo quarterback Drew Willy. The Bulls were only able to gain 70 net yards of rushingDennis Campbell returned one punt for Rutgers for 20 yardsThe Scarlet Knights converted on seven of 10 third down attemptsRutgers committed nine penalties for 80 yardsLinebacker Kevin Malast established a new career high with 10 tacklesRU defensive end George Johnson got his first career full sack in the gameRice broke 100 yards for the 16th time in his career, with 184 yards. He is now just 16 yards shy of the school's all-time rushing lead. Rice currently has 3,098 yards and trails Terrell Willis, who registered 3,114 yards in his Rutgers' careerUnderwood's 248 yards receiving places him second all-time for a single game performance in Big East history.

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