Thursday, December 11, 2008

On Location - RU Ready To Go Bowling?

PISCATAWAY, NJ -- When you score on seven of your first eight drives and only one of those drives takes more than two minutes, it’s pretty safe to say a win is in the cards. On a night when the Rutgers Scarlet Knights were hitting on all cylinders in front of a national audience, everything went right for them as they secured their fourth-straight bowl appearance.

The Scarlet Knights not only beat the Louisville Cardinals, they thoroughly embarrassed them, 63-14.

Right from the outset it was evident that the Scarlet Knights (7-5, 5-2 in Big East play) were out to finish the season strong after starting 1-5. Rutgers took the opening kickoff and went on a four-play, 49 yard-drive in 1:51 to put themselves up 7-0. They would never look back.

The Scarlet Knights amassed an astounding 671 yards of total offense in the contest. That total was the most in Greg Schiano’s eight years as head coach and led to 49 first-half points, the third most in a half in Big East history.

Fifth-year senior quarterback Mike Teel was as accurate as a surgeon en route to a 21-of-26 for 449 passing effort. Teel set two school records and tied the Big East record with his seven touchdowns. But Teel wasn’t alone in setting school records on Rutgers’ senior night--junior wide receiver Kenny Britt broke his own single-season receiving yardage mark which he set a year ago.

Even though Britt set the single-season record, junior Tim Brown had the better numbers in the game: a career best 173 yards and two touchdowns on four catches.
In winning their sixth-straight game the Knights became just the seventh team in college history to start a season 1-5 and end up in a bowl game.

There were basically only two things that were lost for Rutgers in the contest: the opening coin toss, and one of red-shirt freshman running back Jourdan Brooks’ dreadlocks – which was ripped out of his head as he was dragged down after a 62-yard run. Brooks finished with 124 yards on 11 carries in place of leading rusher Kordell Young, who was out with a head injury.

Up next for the Knights is a trip to Birmingham, Alabama to take on North Carolina State in the Papajohn’ bowl. The bid has been received with mixed emotions…but after starting out the season 1-5, the Knights should be happy they’re bowling at all.