Rutgers Football Team Report

Rutgers, ranked last week for the first time in 30 years when it climbed to No. 23 in the AP poll, went on the road and won a conference game Friday night -- and dropped to No. 24.

Rutgers, ranked last week for the first time in 30 years when it climbed to No. 23 in the AP poll, went on the road and won a conference game Friday night -- and dropped to No. 24.

Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it?

Now, this week, with the Scarlet Knights, 5-0 for the first time since 1976, off, they could drop completely off the ranked list.

Maybe the only way to move up or stay where they are is to ... lose?

Anyway, with no game this week, the Knights can work on trying to get quarterback Mike Teel sharper. His coach, Greg Schiano, stands firmly behind him -- with the running attack taking care of a lot of the problems.

"I was encouraged by the leadership and, again, getting us in and out of the right plays in the run game," Schiano said. "I was impressed."

The numbers don't back up the coach's confidence. The Scarlet Knights are 112th in the nation in passing offense, 98th in passing efficiency.

On the other hand, they're sixth in scoring defense and total defense.

Speaking of numbers, Ray Rice continues to try to force his way into the Heisman Trophy picture.

Rutgers returns to action at Navy next week.

Notes and Quotes
SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The troubles continue for QB Mike Teel -- the Scarlet Knights are 112th in the country in passing offense and 98th in passing efficiency. The running game continues to carry the attack and keep some of the pressure off Teel. RB Ray Rice has 806 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in five games.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: The defense continues to impress -- the Knights are sixth in the country in both scoring defense and total defense. The group will be put to a severe test against Navy's triple option next week -- on the road.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's not your normal guy. He is 5-9, 195 pounds and he is a very, very well-conditioned young man. He trains incredibly hard so he can do this." -- Rutgers coach Greg Schiano on RB Ray Rice and his current workload.

Strategy and Personnel
THIS WEEK'S GAME: Rutgers is off this week and travels to Navy next Saturday to face the Middies' very difficult triple option offense.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: RB Ray Rice -- You never hear his name mentioned, but why isn't this guy a Heisman candidate? He should be after gaining 806 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns in the first five games of the season. Rice was named Big East offensive player of the week for his 202-yard game at South Florida. He tied JJ Jennings' school record of seven consecutive 100-yard games and three career 200-yard efforts.

QB Mike Teel -- The numbers have been poor, but coach Greg Schiano is firmly behind his player. "I think Mike is getting better," Schiano said. "I think he is seeing things better."

K Jeremy Ito -- He kicked a career-long 53-yard field goal and also had 32- and 40-yarders in last week's win. He did have one blocked, a 42-yarder that almost helped send the game to overtime, but he earned a spot on the Big East's weekly honor roll. Ito is 6-for-8 on field-goal attempts this season.

ROSTER REPORT: FB Brian Leonard suffered a hip pointer when hit by a helmet at USF and was sore, but he is not expected to miss any time. The bye week will give him, and others, time to heal.


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