Rice paces Rutgers' blowout with 184 yards, 3 TDs on ground

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- No. 16 Rutgers has more offense than Ray Rice running the ball. There's also Tiquan Underwood catching and

Mike Teel throwing.

Rice rushed for 184 yards and three touchdowns, Underwood had 10

catches for a school-record 248 yards and two TDs and Teel passed

for a career-best 328 yards as the Scarlet Knights opened their

most anticipated season with a 38-3 win over Buffalo on Thursday

night.

"If I am running the ball, we can really play-action and hit

Tiquan over the top on those deep balls," Rice said. "That's what

happens when the running game is going. We can obviously get better

this season. What you saw today was us hitting on both cylinders."

Coming off an 11-2 season and its first bowl victory, Rutgers

gave the crowd of 43,091 -- the third largest at home in school

history -- plenty to cheer about. It scored touchdowns on its first

three series and amassed 563 yards in total offense against a

Buffalo team that won two games last season and is picked to finish

around the bottom of the Mid-American Conference again this year.

Rice, who rushed for 1,794 yards last season, scored 20

touchdowns and finished seventh in the Heisman voting, scored on

runs 34, 12 and 41 yards.

"To have a great running attack with Ray in the backfield, it

just opens it up for the passing game," said Underwood, who had 23

catches for 290 yards in 12 games last season.

Teel, who completed 16-of-23 passes, and Underwood combined on

scoring pass plays of 65 and 66 yards. Teel's final pass was a

20-yard fourth-quarter pass that pushed Underwood past the old

school mark of 237 yards set by Jack Emmer against Holy Cross in

1966.

That's when Rutgers wasn't a very good football program. All

that has changed under coach Greg Schiano. The Scarlet Knights are

now as big as Bruce Springsteen in New Jersey and they didn't need

long to show why against Buffalo.

Schiano was thrilled with the sellout in one of eight games

Rutgers has at home this season.

"To see it in game one, it used to be that we would have a big

crowd when somebody else came to town," Schiano said. "So they

came to see them. I tell the team all the time they are coming to

see you now. That feels good."

Kordell Young returned the opening kickoff 56 yards and the

Scarlet Knights needed only three plays to go 43 yards. Rice went

the final 34 off the left side of his line for a 7-0 lead just 1:21

after the kickoff.

Teel and Underwood hooked up three times for 37 yards on the

next series that Rice capped with a 12-yard run, breaking a tackle

by Kendric Hawkins at the 5-yard line.

The next score was spectacular. Teel hit Underwood on a little

slant pattern from left to right at the Buffalo 45. Underwood

continued to sprint across the field, stopped at the Bulls 30 and

cut back toward the left corner of the end zone. At the 10, he

stopped again, dodged Hawkins and then got carried into the end

zone by a Buffalo tackler for a 65-yard TD.

"It's so much easier when you can mix it up, run the ball well

and throw the ball down the field," said Teel, who called an

audible on Underwood's first touchdown. "Guys made plays and it

made the offense so much easier to run."

Rice's fumble inside the Buffalo 30 stopped the next drive, but

Teel, who previous best was 278 passing yards against West Virginia

last season, and Underwood hooked up again midway through the

second quarter. On a second-and-9, Underwood reached up with right

hand to slow down a Teel pass, pulled it in with his left and went

the final 45 yards for a 66-yard score and a 28-0 lead.

"We had a few busts in our coverage," Buffalo coach Turner

Gill said. "Some guys kind of messed up in where they were

supposed to be lined up. Teel put it on the money, [Underwood] made

the catches and the plays and they made big-play opportunities."

A.J. Principe finally got Buffalo on the scoreboard with a

35-yard field goal with 3:19 left in the third quarter.

Rice got his final touchdown with 1:31 left in the third quarter

on 41-yard run off the left side again. He now has 10 multiple

touchdown games and 16 games of at least 100-yard rushing his 26

career contests.

Jeremy Ito, who missed from 40 and 56 yards earlier in the game,

closed out the scoring with a 38-yard field goal in the fourth

quarter.