Cards routed; First losing season since ‘97

Rutgers jumped out to a 49-0 halftime lead Thursday night against Louisville and cruised to a 63-14 victory. The loss was Louisville's fifth straight and ensured the Cardinals first losing season since 1997.

Three years ago, Louisville routed Mike Teel – then a freshman – and Rutgers 55-5. Thursday night, Teel and the Scarlet Knights got their revenge, routing the Cardinals 63-14.

Rutgers got out of the gates quickly Thursday night and quickly ended Louisville's upset hopes.

After Jason McCourty returned the game's opening kickoff 44 yards, quarterback Mike Teel and the Scarlet Knights were off to the races. Four plays later, Teel connected with Tiquan Underwood in the back of the end zone for a 12 yard touchdown to put Rutgers in front 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.

Louisville responded with an 11-play, 74 yard drive that lasted more than four minutes. But Courtney Green forced a Josh Chichester fumble at the goal line that Devin McCourty recovered at the two to thwart UofL's scoring threat.

Louisville was routed by Rutgers Thursday for
their fifth straight loss. (AP)

After an off-sides penalty gave Rutgers some breathing room, Teel connected with Tim Brown on first down to the 47 yard line. Four plays later, Kenny Britt took a reverse 31 yards for a touchdown to put Rutgers ahead 14-0 with 5:45 left in the opening quarter.

The Cardinals again moved into scoring position at the start of the second quarter – aided heavily by a 15 yard personal foul penalty on Rutgers defensive end Jamal Westerman. But after two straight incompletions, Tim Dogherty came on to try a 34 yard field goal. The attempt missed wide left – dropping UofL to just 5 of 11 on field goals this season – and Rutgers took over on the 20 yard line.

Three plays later, Teel connected with Tim Brown for a 74 yard touchdown to put Rutgers ahead 21-0 with 11:20 left in the second quarter.

From that point the rout was on.

In a desperate attempt to get back in the game on the next possession, Louisville went for it on fourth and one at their own 40. But Victor Anderson was surrounded in the backfield by Rutgers defenders and dropped for a five yard loss.

Rutgers took over on the 35 yard line and eight plays later Teel hit Shamar Graves for a 9-yard TD to make it 28-0.

Louisville was stopped on their next possession and forced to punt. Corey Goettsche punt pinned the Scarlet Knights deep in their own territory at the 12 yard line. But Jourdan Brooks ran 62 yards before being tackled at the Louisville 26. Teel connected with Underwood on the next play for a 26-yard touchdown that gave Rutgers a 35-0 lead.

Teel threw his fifth touchdown pass of the first half with 1:52 left in the opening stanza when he connected with Tim Brown for a 37-yard scoring strike. That touchdown gave Rutgers a 42-0 lead and capped a two-play 46 yard drive.

Just when you thought Rutgers was done scoring for the first half, Teel connected with Dennis Campbell for his sixth touchdown pass of the half with 18 seconds remaining. That touchdown put Rutgers up 49-0 going into the locker room.

For the half, Teel completed 17-22 passes for 343 yards and six touchdowns. Rutgers had 468 yards of total offense in the first half. Tim Brown caught four passes for 173 yards and two scores. Tiquan Underwood also had two touchdowns and 67 receiving yards.

Hunter Cantwell led Louisville on a 57-yard scoring drive to start the second half to cut the margin to 49-7.

Teel, though, came right back and directed Rutgers to another quick touchdown. This one covered 71 yards in only three plays. The big play was a 44-yard Teel to Kenny Britt touchdown pass. That made it 56-7 – a margin Rutgers started the fourth quarter.

Rutgers kept it on the ground for their next score, rumbling 81 yards in 16 plays. The drive was capped by Brooks' 16 yard TD run. That made it 63-7 with 12:43 left in the game.

Louisville added a late touchdown when Cantwell hit Brock Bolen for an 11-yard touchdown to make the score 63-14.

Cantwell finished his college career with 247 yards and one touchdown. Despite the blowout, New Jersey native Matt Simms did not play in his return to his home state.

Teel left the game at the start of the 4th quarter. He threw for 447 yards and 7 touchdowns - sharing the Big East single-game touchdown record.

The loss was Louisville's fifth straight and ensured the Cardinals first losing season since going 1-10 in 1997. The Cardinals finished 1-6 in league play - last place in the Big East.

NOTE Rutgers 49 points in the first half were the third most in Big East history.

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