Rutgers' fullback Brian Leonard ran for two touchdowns on Saturday versus Navy.
Oct. 29, 2005
On Saturday, Oct. 29, Rutgers defeated Navy, 31-21, to become bowl eligible for the first time since the 1992 season. In winning its third straight, the Scarlet Knights have started the season 6-2 for the first time since 1979. Running back Ray Rice and fullback Brian Leonard each ran for two scores for RU. In BIG EAST league play, Cincinnati won on the road at Syracuse, 22-16. The Bearcats pulled ahead for good in the fourth quarter on a 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown by linebacker Kevin McCullough.
RUTGERS 31, NAVY 21
Saturday, Oct. 29 - Piscataway, N.J.
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Brian Leonard and Ray Rice each ran for two touchdowns and Rutgers clinched its first winning regular season since 1992 with a 31-21 victory over Navy on Saturday.
In winning its third straight and starting 6-2 for the first time since 1979, Rutgers became bowl eligible for the first time since '92 and snapped a four-game winning streak by Navy (4-3).
Ryan Hart, who lost his starting job to Mike Teel two games ago but got it back this week due to Teel's shoulder injury, completed 18-of-21 passes for 221 yards. Rice ran for 81 yards and Leonard added 58.
Reggie Campbell had 69 of Navy's 207 yards rushing, which was less than half the total the Middies had in last year's 54-21 over Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights kept Navy's offensive chances limited by holding a 35:22 to 24:38 time of possession.
Clinging to a 24-21 lead, the Knights put together a 62-yard drive to Rice's 2-yard touchdown run with 5:26 remaining. Hart was 3-for-3 for 56 yards on the drive, including a 16-yard completion to Leonard on a third-and-9 play.
Rutgers held Navy on its next series, than crushed any hope the Middies had when Devraun Thompson intercepted Lamar Owens' throw with 1:32 remaining. When the game ended, many of the sellout crowd of 41,716, the second largest in Rutgers Stadium history, stormed the field to celebrate Rutgers first winning season in 13 years.
Trailing 21-7, Navy took the second-half kickoff and produced a 15-play, 74-yard drive that resulted in a 9-yard scoring run by Karlos Whittaker. It was the sixth straight game Whittaker scored a touchdown.
The Knights came back with an 18-yard field goal from Jeremy Ito, although Rutgers hoped for more after getting a first-and-goal at the 2.
Navy then mounted another long scoring drive, as Owens 9-yard touchdown pass to Marco Nelson capped a 65-yard, 10-play possession. But Rutgers scored its final TD to put it away.
Rutgers took a 14-0 lead on Leonard's touchdown runs of 7 yards and 1 yard. The first score was set up by Ronnie Girault's interception, marking the fifth time this year Navy was intercepted on its first possession.
After Leonard's second score, Navy struck quickly on a career-long 60-yard touchdown run by Campbell.
The Knights then drove to the Middies 4, before Ito missed a 32-yard field goal.
Navy's first play after the miss was Trey Hines' fumble that Girault recovered at the Middies 30. Seven plays later, Rice scored on a 3-yard run and Rutgers had a 21-7 halftime lead.
CINCINNATI 22, SYRACUSE 16
Saturday, Oct. 29 - Syracuse, N.Y.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Linebacker Kevin McCullough returned a fumble for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter and Cincinnati rallied past Syracuse 22-16 on Saturday, the Orange's sixth straight loss.
It was the first win on the road this season for Cincinnati (4-4, 2-2 Big East) and its first win in four games in the Carrier Dome. The loss for Syracuse (1-7, 0-5) dropped its record in the dome to 1-4 for only the second time since the building opened in 1980. The 1982 team finished 1-5 at home en route to a 2-9 season, and the last time Syracuse started 1-7 was in 1978 under Frank Maloney.
The Bearcats clinched it on defense against one of the worst passing attacks in the nation. Syracuse entered the game ranked 109th, averaging 131 yards per game.
On third-and-5 play from his 36, quarterback Joe Fields was hit by Anthony Hoke and lost the ball, and McCullough scooped it up at the 17 and ran it in for the clinching score.
Just moments earlier, Fields was shaping up as the hero in his first start of the season. After Syracuse was pinned at its 1-yard line by a punt, Fields hit Tim Lane with a 42-yard pass down the right side. One play later, Fields rolled right and found Rice Moss for 50 yards to the Cincinnati 8. The Bearcats stiffened, and Syracuse went ahead 16-14 on a 27-yard field goal by John Barker.
Syracuse entered the game ranked 11th nationally against the pass, but the Orange had trouble stopping Cincinnati's Dustin Grutza, who used a crisp, short passing game to lead the Bearcats to a 14-13 halftime edge.
Grutza, a redshirt freshman, entered the game completing 51.5 percent of his passes with nine interceptions and seven touchdown passes. Using swing passes and flanker screens and often throwing on the run, he repeatedly frustrated the Orange.
Grutza finished 16-for-25 for 150 yards, but threw only five passes in the second half as the Bearcats went with the run. Bradley Glattharr gained 69 yards on 15 carries and Greg Moore had 64 on 10 carries while the Cincinnati defense held the Orange to just 52 yards rushing on 40 carries.
Kareem Jones returned the game's opening kickoff 52 yards to give Syracuse great field position, and Fields drove the Orange 48 yards for a 7-0 lead. Damien Rhodes scored from the 4 on fourth down.
Grutza then found Bill Poland alone in the right corner of the end zone to tie it 7-7 midway through the first period.
Cincinnati took advantage of a roughing-the-kicker penalty against Anthony Smith and some trickery to go ahead 14-7 early in the second quarter. Grutza's 8-yard run off a fake field goal gave the Bearcats a first down at the Syracuse 25, and he scored five plays later on a 4-yard run.
The Orange scored quickly after Kevin Lovell missed a 37-yard field goal for Cincinnati late in the second quarter. Rhodes made a leaping catch of a screen pass from Patterson and raced 70 yards down the left side before Mike Mickens tackled him at the 1.
Rhodes, who finished with 155 all-purpose yards, scored on the next play, but Ricky Krautman's extra-point kick was wide right.