Texas Bowl Player Profile, History & More

Posted Dec 14, 2006

2006 Texas Bowl Player Profile, History, Best Games & More

Rutgers (10-2) vs. Kansas State (7-5)

Dec. 28, 8:00 p.m. ET, NFL Network

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Texas Bowl History
2005 TCU 27, Iowa State 24
2004 Colorado 33, UTEP 28
2003 Texas Tech 38, Navy 14
2002 Oklahoma State 33, Southern Miss 23
2001 Texas A&M 28, TCU 9
2000 East Carolina 40, Texas Tech 27

By Richard Cirminiello

Texas Bowl Player profile
DT Eric Foster, Rutgers – This time last year, Foster could only watch from the sidelines as the Scarlet Knights prepared for their first bowl game since 1978.  A knee injury in the second game of the year prematurely ended what was supposed to be the sophomore’s breakout season in Piscataway.  Today, however, he’s the emotional and physical leader of the nation’s No. 7 defense, and stoked to finally be getting his chance to perform on the postseason stage.  In a season of surprises, Foster was one of the most important, exploding on to the Big East scene with 51 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and six sacks.  Using unstoppable quickness and an insatiable appetite for the backfield, the converted end terrorized quarterbacks en route to becoming the first first-team All-American on defense in Rutgers history.  At just 6-2, 260 pounds, Foster looks physically miscast to be playing on the inside...and then the game begins.  Besides his physical dominance, the defensive captain also plays with an attitude and intensity that has given the Knights a personality in 2006.  If the Rutgers D had an inferiority complex before this season from decades of being a laughingstock, its most vocal trash talker and motivator made sure it didn’t last.  Foster is the antithesis of a pre-Greg Schiano Scarlet Knight.  He’s explosive, from the state of Florida and extremely chatty, often whipping his side into a frenzy before games and after wins.  Foster is a model of the 21st century Rutgers football player, and for four quarters, the Kansas State offensive line is going to hear all about it.

Best Scarlet Knight Bowl Moment
– Despite falling short to Arizona State in the 2005 Insight Bowl, Rutgers first bowl invite in almost three decades was a coronation for a young program that was clearly on the rise.  The 45-40 loss, one of the most entertaining of the December bowls, wound up being the launching point for the program’s ten-win 2006 season.  Beating Kansas State in Houston would give the Knights their first-ever post-season win.  

Best Wildcat Bowl Moment – Kansas State’s first really big bowl win during the Bill Snyder era came in the 1997 Fiesta Bowl over No. 14 Syracuse.  In what was supposed to be an even game, the Wildcats rolled up 457 total yards and pulled away in the fourth quarter.  The hero was Michael Bishop, who accounted for 390 total yards and four touchdown passes, three to Darnell McDonald.  In front of an estimated 50,000 Wildcat fans, the school won its 11th game for the first time in school history.

Kansas State's best win ... Kansas State 45 ... Texas 42
Kansas State jumped on Texas mistakes for a big third quarter run breaking a 21-21 tie with a 21-point run as RB Leon Patton threw a 18-yard touchdown pass to Cedric Wilson and Josh Freeman hit Yamon Figurs for a 30-yard score and ran for a one-yard touchdown. Texas mounted a huge comeback with an amazing four-play, 75-yard drive with an 18-yard Jamaal Charles touchdown run to spark a big run with Limas Sweed catching a 33-yard touchdown pass and Chris Ogbonnaya running for a score from one-yard out, but a line drive 51-yard Jeff Snodgrass field goal kept KSU ahead. The Wildcats pounced on the onside kick after the Ogbonnaya touchdown and were able to run out the clock. Longhorn QB Colt McCoy was knocked out of the game early with a neck injury after running for a one-yard score.

Kansas State's worst loss ... Baylor 17 ... Kansas State 3
Baylor got a 75-yard touchdown from Trent Shelton, an 11-yard scoring grab from Dominique Ziegler and a 22-yard Ryan Havens field goal and let the defense do the rest holding Kansas State to 45 rushing yards and just a 41-yard Jeff Snodgrass field goal. The Wildcats moved the ball through the air, but turned it over five times with Dwain Crawford picking off two passes.

Rutgers' best win ...
Rutgers 28 ... Louisville 25
With the game tied at 25, Rutgers PK Jeremy Ito missed a 28-yard field goal attempt with :13 to play. Louisville was flagged for an offsides penalty, Ito got another chance, and hit it right down the middle to complete an 18-point comeback. The Cardinals got up 25-7 in the first half on a two-yard Anthony Allen run and a five-yard Jimmy Riley touchdown run, and answered a 26-yard Tiquan Underwood touchdown that tied it at seven with a 100-yard kickoff return for a score from JaJuan Spillman. Ray Rice ran for an 18-yard score late in the first half to start off Rutgers' run, and then ran for a four-yard score in the third quarter to pull within three. A 46-yard Ito field goal tied it, but it was the 11-play, 80-yard drive with a key 26-yard catch-and-run on third and six from Brian Leonard to get in Louisville territory, and then Rice ripped off 20 yards to get into field goal range.

Rutgers' worst loss ...
Cincinnati 30 ... Rutgers 11
Cincinnati stuffed the Rutgers offense holding it to 50 rushing yards and keeping it out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter on a one-yard Ray Rice run. Despite losing three fumbles, the Bearcats jumped out to a 17-0 lead helped by a 84-yard DeAngelo Smith interception return for a touchdown and a one-yard Nick Davila scoring run, but didn't pull away for good until Brent Celek took a pass 83 yards for a score. Kevin Lowell hit three field goals for the Bearcats.

2005 Houston Bowl
TCU 27 ... Iowa State 24

Peter LoCoco hit a 44-yard field goal with 5:25 to play for TCU's only points of the second half breaking a 24-24 tie. Iowa State's ensuing drive stalled, and TCU never let go of the ball again using RB Robert Merrill, who helped the Horned Frogs outrush the Cyclones 135-34, to run out the clock. ISU made its run in the second quarter with a 17-point flurry in under five minutes highlighted by the first of two Todd Blythe touchdown catches on the day. TCU reversed the second quarter momentum with an 84-yard touchdown pass to Michael DePriest. Bylthe's 22-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter were Iowa State's only points of the second half.
Player of the game: TCU RB Robert Merrill ran 11 times for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Stat Leaders: TCU - Passing: Jeff Ballard, 21-33, 275 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Robert Merrill, 11-109, 1 TD. Receiving: Cory Rodgers, 4-46
Iowa State - Passing: Bret Meyer, 20-32, 254 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Bret Meyer, 12-27. Receiving: Todd Blythe, 5-105, 2 TD

Rutgers Bowl History (0-2)
2005 Insight Arizona State 45, Rutgers 40
1978 Garden State Arizona State 34, Rutgers 18
Kansas State Bowl History (6-6)
2003 Fiesta Ohio State 35, Kansas State 28
2002 Holiday Kansas State 34, Arizona State 27
2001 Insight.com Syracuse 26, Kansas State 3
2000 Cotton Kansas State 35, Tennessee 21
1999 Holiday Kansas State 24, Washington 20
1998 Alamo Purdue 37, Kansas State 34
1997 Fiesta Kansas State 35, Syracuse 18
1996 Cotton Brigham Young 19, Kansas State 15
1995 Holiday Kansas State 54, Colorado State 21
1994 Aloha Boston College 12, Kansas State 7
1993 Copper Kansas State 52, Wyoming 17
1982 Independence Wisconsin 14, Kansas State 3