Run and Shoot: International Bowl preview

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International Bowl preview

TORONTO, On. - Greetings from Toronto’s Rogers Centre, site of the second annual International Bowl.

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights, representing the Big East, are heavy favorites against the Mid-American Conference’s Ball State Cardinals.

Not only are the Scarlet Knights the more highly-regarded team, they should enjoy the benefit of having the crowd on their side. Scarlet Red is the dominant colour around the home of the Toronto Blue Jays as thousands of fans from New Jersey have made the trip across the border to watch Rutgers play in a bowl game for the third consecutive year.

The Cardinals will have their hands full stopping Rutgers star running back Ray Rice, who could be playing his final game for the Scarlet Knights. Rice said he has not decided whether he will enter the NFL draft, where he could go late in the first round or the second round. He will meet head coach Greg Schiano and his mother prior to the entry deadline on Jan. 15 to discuss his options. Rice has had more than 110 rushing yards in each of his past seven games.

Locally, there is plenty of interest in Rutgers defensive end Jamaal Westerman, who grew up 30 minutes away in the Toronto subub of Brampton. Westerman, who led the team with eight sacks this season, got his hands on 100 tickets for his friends and family.

Ball State, meanwhile, is playing in its first bowl game in 11 years and the Cardinals have embraced the underdog role. The Cardinals are 0-4-1 in bowl appearances.

The Cardinals have the potential to light up the scoreboard. Sophomore quarterback Nate Davis threw for a MAC-high 27 touchdowns this season with just six interceptions. His most dangerous threat is receiver Dante Love, who had 87 receptions for 1,229 yards and nine touchdowns.

Ball State counters with a pretty decent offence, especially with the passing tandem of sophomore quarterback Nate Davis and junior receiver Dante Love. Davis had 3,376 passing yards this season with a MAC-high 27 touchdowns against just six interceptions. Love was his favourite target, registering 87 catches for 1,229 yards and nine touchdowns.

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