Rutgers Team Report

All year long, through thick and thin, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has stood firmly behind struggling quarterback Mike Teel. Saturday afternoon, that faith was rewarded as Teel broke out with three touchdown passes as then No. 24 Rutgers, blasted a pretty good Navy team, 34-0, on the road.

The victory, the Scarlet Knights' third straight on the road, made undefeated Rutgers 6-0 (1-0 Big East) and bowl eligible at the earliest date in the history of the program.

But the story Saturday was Teel. Rutgers came in with the 112th-ranked passing offense in the country, and Teel had thrown two touchdown passes. Saturday, with Navy setting its collective mind on stopping Ray Rice and forcing Teel to throw, he threw.

"I just went out and played the game and took what they gave me," Teel said. "Guys stepped up and made some plays."

His tight end, Clark Harris, noted this was Teel's best game but added, "I don't think it's close to what his best game will be. He has a lot of big games left in that arm."

Saturday, the Knights look to make it 7-0 when they visit 6-1 Pittsburgh for a game that will have a lot to do with the Big East's ultimate bowl picture.

"Two good teams," says defensive tackle Eric Foster. "They're playing well. But we're playing well. That should be a great game."

Rice was held to 93 yards on 21 carries as his school record-tying streak of 100-yard games was snapped at seven.

Notes and Quotes
GAME BALL GOES TO: QB Mike Teel -- The biggest question in the first five games of the season centered around the struggling Teel, but he threw three touchdown passes in the 34-0 win at Navy on Saturday.

KEEP AN EYE ON: WR Tiquan Underwood -- He had the first two TD catches of his career Saturday and, with Teel apparently throwing the ball better, he could be a big factor the rest of the way.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't want to put words in his mouth, but this game has to help him. Every good game you have, it helps." -- Rutgers fullback Brian Leonard after Mike Teel's breakout game Saturday.

Strategy and Personnel
LOOKING GOOD: QB Mike Teel -- He had thrown two touchdown passes in the first five games of the season and came into the game at Navy with his passing offense ranked 112th in the country. He was 15-for-26 for 215 yards and three touchdowns in the 34-0 win.

FB Brian Leonard -- He caught a pass for the 40th straight game, tying West Virginia's Khori Ivy's Big East record. He is also two shy of Rutgers' all-time receptions record, which belong to Tres Moses.

RB Ray Rice -- He was "held" to 93 yards and showed class by supporting Greg Schiano's decision to pull him from the game with an eye on the future.

WRs Tiquan Underwood and James Townsend -- Both had their first career TD catches Saturday, Underwood with two.

The defense -- Navy came in with the nation's top running game and had only 113 yards on 50 carries while recording its lowest point and yardage (161) totals in four years. It helped Rutgers that Navy QB Brian Hampton was lost to injury in the first quarter, but the defense was strong.

The special teams -- These guys blocked two more punts and, on the other side, Jeremy Ito kicked two more field goals to move to within three of the school career record.

STILL NEEDS WORK: Well, Teel had a big game at Navy. Does he have consecutive big games? Saturday's game at Pitt will be a tough test, one that will tell Rutgers what it has at the QB spot the rest of the year.

ROSTER REPORT: No injuries were reported.

DE Chenry Lewis missed the game with an ankle injury.

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