Run and Shoot: Stuffed Rice

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Stuffed Rice

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Turns out that all those people who thought that this game between West Virginia's 7th-ranked Mountaineers and Rutgers would turn out to be a head-to-head showdown between WVU's tailback Steve Slaton and his Scarlet counterpart Ray Rice, especially in what was a driving rain at times, were missing the point.

Seems that football games still revolve around quarterback play and as the teams headed to the locker room the reason the Mountaineers held a 17-3 advatage was because WVU's quarterback Patrick White was overwhelming while Rurtgers' Mike Teel was quite underwhelming.

Not that Slaton and Rice weren't doing their thing. Slaton did break away on a 38-yard touchdown scamper that was mostly ad lib. Staton started to his left, saw a greeting committee of black clad Rutgerians, and decided that a change of plans was in order.

Reversing field and helped by a nifty fake, Slaton found himself running down the right sideline and diving into the end zone.

Rutgers was trying to rely on Rice, its Heisman Trophy candidate. On his first carry, he became the first Rutgers back every to surpass 1,000 yards in three straight seasons. They kept giving him the ball, 16 times in all, during the first quarter but had nothing to show for it.

They cut back on the carries in the second quarter, giving him just three more tries. At halftime Rice had 19 carries for 76 tards, Slaton eight for 62 and his touchdown.

But White was the difference, rushing for 72 yards on 12 tries, including a 1-yard touchdown, and throwing for 54 yards on six completions in 9 attempts. White had come into the game with just two career carries against Rutgers for minus-3 yards, having been a backup to Adam Bednarik as a freshman and having been injured last year.

At the same time, Teel was but 3 for 9 for 27 yards passing, leaving Rutgers with Rice as the only bullet in their gun.

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