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USF-Rutgers: Keys to the game
By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer
Published October 18, 2007
THREE MATCHUPS TO WATCH
USF linebackers vs. Rutgers' Ray Rice
Nobody has piled up yards against the Bulls like Rice, who rushed for 202 yards in last year's 22-20 Rutgers win, and got 158 as a freshman in a Bulls win at Rutgers in 2005. He's rushed for 818 yards and 13 touchdowns this fall, and USF hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher since Rice did so 14 games ago.
USF pass rush vs. Rutgers' Mike Teel
Teel has provided surprising balance to Rice this season, passing for 1,817 yards and 12 touchdowns. Then again, Rutgers hasn't faced a defense ranked higher than 43rd nationally in yards allowed; USF is 11th. The Knights have allowed four sacks all season, but the Bulls and defensive end George Selvie could get that tonight as they apply blitzing pressure Rutgers hasn't seen this season.
USF defense vs. the number 23
In USF's eight-game winning streak, no opponent has scored more than 23 points; Rutgers has averaged 26.5 in the last two meetings. The Knights have the best offensive balance of any USF opponent yet, so the Bulls will need to be sound defensively, especially on third down, where they have the nation's No. 2 defense, holding opponents to a 24 percent conversion rate.