Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rutgers 28, Louisville 25 [ESPN]

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Rutgers has arrived.

The program that once set the standard for college football futility, jumped into the national title picture Thursday night with a 28-25 victory over No. 3 Louisville.

On his second chance, Jeremy Ito kicked a 28-yard tiebreaking field goal with 13 seconds left and the second consecutive primetime showdown between Big East unbeatens went to Rutgers (9-0, 4-0).

Just a week ago, it was Louisville (8-1, 3-1) celebrating the biggest win in school history, a 44-34 victory over West Virginia that vaulted the Cardinals into the heart of the national championship race.

This time it was Rutgers' turn to party.

The Scarlet Knights shut out the high-scoring Cardinals in the second half, erased an 18-point deficit and got the ball with 5:28 left in the fourth quarter at their own 9.

Brian Leonard went 26 yards with a pass in the flats to get Rutgers into Louisville territory and Ray Rice broke a 20-yard run to get into field-goal range. Ito missed a 33-yarder with 18 seconds left but Louisville was offside and Ito got another shot -- and it was perfect.

The final play, appropriately, was a sack by a Rutgers' defense that proved itself as one of the best in the country.