As a sophomore, Rice gained 1,794 rushing yards with 20 touchdowns. His rushing totals set Rutgers' single-season rushing yardage record, shattering J. J. Jennings' mark of 1,353 set in 1973. Rice's backfield partner during his freshman and sophomore seasons was fullback Brian Leonard. Leonard considered entering the NFL Draft in 2006 but stayed for his senior year and took on a less prominent role in the offense which aided Rice's rise to stardom. Rice was a finalist for the Maxwell Award and finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting. Rice was named Big East offensive player of the week a school-record three times in 2007. All three times, Rice rushed for over 200 yards, 201 yards against North Carolina, 202 yards against South Florida, and a career-high 225-yard game against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Rice ended his sophomore season with 170 yards on 24 carries with one touchdown during the inaugural Texas Bowl to give Rutgers its first bowl victory ever in a 37–10 win over Kansas State. He was named MVP of the game.