Perhaps Rutgers was looking ahead on the schedule this past weekend with the home loss to Maryland. For that game 43,803 fans were on hand, marking the second largest crowd in school history. It was the sixth consecutive sell out for the Scarlet Knights. This Saturday will be the seventh.
Last year Cincinnati showed how to beat Rutgers. On Saturday Maryland proved that the formula still works. "Our inability to stop the run was the difference in the game," said head coach Greg Schiano. "Maryland played very well and had a good plan. They executed that plan very well. The combination of us not playing well and them playing well, that was a bad combination today."
Heisman Trophy candidate Ray Rice rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Rice gained 62 yards in the first quarter and looked to be in for a big day. But the Maryland defense was able to close some gaps to slow down the rushing attack and prevent any big runs.
Junior quarterback Mike Teel turned in a solid performance completing a career-best 25 passes on 44 attempts en route to 310 yards and two touchdowns. Even with those numbers the Maryland defense applied pressure throughout the game. According to Coach Shiano "Mike (Teel) got hit more today than he has in any of our other games, but this defensive front is maybe as good as any we will play this year. They are big and strong, and we have two young guys in there. I don't know if that is where the breakdowns were or not, but that was a veteran group going against two young starters and that was a concern going in to the game." Lets hope next Saturday Coach Schiano is talking about the power of Byrd and Hopple up the middle with the speed of Craig and Hoke form the outside being the difference in the game.
The formula used last year by the Cats still works. Control the ball, stop Rice and harass Teel. If the Bearcats can do that again this year they have a great chance of getting their 6-th win. If they cannot, Rutgers will get their revenge.
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