Rutgers’ most memorable season ended with a milestone victory.
Ray Rice rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown, Tim Brown caught two scoring passes, and the No. 16 Scarlet Knights won a bowl game for the first time Thursday night, defeating Kansas State, 37-10, in the Texas Bowl at Houston.
Linebacker Quintero Frierson returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage of the second half and Rutgers (11-2) cruised from there, earning an 11th victory for the second time in the team’s mostly forgettable 137 seasons.
“To win the first bowl game after 137 years of playing, to say we’re excited would be an understatement,” Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano said.
Kansas State (7-6) mustered 85 yards on offense after Frierson’s return of Josh Freeman’s first interception put Rutgers ahead, 24-10, only 33 seconds out of halftime.
“The way they played defense tonight, you like to watch that,” Schiano said. “They took it to heart.”
Freeman was on the run when Frierson leaped to pick off his wobbly pass. Freeman’s 14th interception of the season was his fifth in the Wildcats’ last three games.
“To have the opportunity to come out and tie the game at the start of the second half and the worst thing that could happen would be a turnover and a touchdown and that’s what occurred,” first-year Kansas State Coach Ron Prince said.
Oklahoma State 34, Alabama 31 -- Jason Ricks kicked a 27-yard field goal with 8.9 seconds remaining to give the Cowboys the victory in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.
Dantrell Savage ran for 112 yards and a touchdown and made the key play on the winning drive.
He took a screen pass from Bobby Reid for 26 yards on a third-and-nine play to the Alabama 15 to put Ricks in prime position.
The kick saved the Cowboys (7-6) from a fourth-quarter collapse and gave them a winning record and their first bowl victory since 2002.
Oklahoma State blew a 14-point lead, setting up the Crimson Tide (6-7) for the tying touchdown with a fumbled kickoff return.