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December 28, 2006
Texas Bowl: Rutgers vs. Kansas State
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The College Football Wire
Get the inside scoop on your favorite team:
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has adopted the slogan "Keep Choppin' " for his Scarlet Knights football team - the theory being that if you continue to work hard eventually the obstacles to your success will fall.
But the Knights felt the ax from the bowl system, falling from a BCS game to the Texas Bowl with their triple overtime loss at West Virginia in their final regular-season game.
To borrow another clichι, it was the unkindest cut of all. One minute the Cinderfellas from Jersey are probable for a marquee matchup in the FedEx Orange Bowl on a major TV network. The next minute, they're playing three nights after Christmas on a network that's unavailable to about 60 percent of the country.
Schiano must find a way to get his team up for a bowl game on a lesser stage against an unranked opponent in which it is heavily favored. It's a tough spot. Win and people will say you were supposed to win. Lose and they'll say you never deserved the top-10 ranking you worked so hard to get this season.
Kansas State could prove dangerous. The Wildcats, under first-year coach Ron Prince, dramatically improved in the second half of the season. A pair of freshmen, quarterback Josh Freeman and running back Leon Patton, helped K-State get rolling offensively. The Wildcats scored 32.5 points per game over their last four games, including 45 in a shocking upset of Texas.