Dodd throws 2 TDs, Rutgers becomes bowl eligible

Chas Dodd threw two touchdowns and Paul James ran for two as

Rutgers finally nailed down its eighth bowl bid in nine years with

a 31-6 victory over South Florida Saturday night.

The win snapped a three-game losing slide and sent the Scarlet

Knights (6-6, 3-5 American Athletic Conference) to the Pinstripe

Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 28 for a game against Notre Dame

(8-4). Rutgers coach Kyle Flood announced that the bowl bid was

extended shortly after the game at High Point Solutions Stadium

ended.

James ran for 113 yards, scoring on runs of 5 and 1 yards. Dodd

threw for 179 yards, connecting on scoring passes of 12 yards to

Andre Patton and 2 yards to Michael Burton.

Marvin Kloss kicked two field goals for South Florida (2-10,

2-6), which ended its first season under Willie Taggart with a

six-game losing streak.

The win should take some pressure off Flood, but there is no

guarantee that taking the Scarlet Knights to two straight bowls

with a 15-10 overall record will guarantee him the job when they

move into the Big Ten Conference next season.

Rutgers, which gave up 121 points in losing its last three games

to Cincinnati, No. 15 Central Florida and Connecticut, had no

problem with the offensively challenged Bulls. The defense limited

them to 151 total yards, including just 10 yards rushing on 20

attempts.

The Scarlet Knights took the lead for good on their second

series after taking over near midfield. Dodd hit Quron Pratt on an

18-yard pass on a first-and-25 play after an illegal hands to the

face. It ignited a drive that James capped with an almost untouched

run from the 5-yard line.

A muffed snap on the Bulls’ next series was recovered by Darius

Hamilton at the South Florida 24. Dodd was intercepted on first

down by Brandon Salinas but a roughing the passer call allowed

Rutgers to keep the ball. Dodd hit Patton on a crossing pattern on

the next play to make it 14-0.

Kloss kicked a 24-yard field goal midway through the second

quarter after a South Florida drive bogged down at the 7. But Dodd

hit Burton for his short touchdown after connecting with tight end

Tyler Kroft on a 24-yard pass to the 2.

Kloss added a second field goal just before the end of the half

to cut the deficit to 21-6,

Rutgers put the game away with the only 10 points in the second

half.

James scored from a yard out on a drive that he accounted for 58

of the 69 yards with 11 runs and a catch. Joe Behnke kicked a

20-yard field goal in the final minute.