Rutgers Players React to Maryland Loss

The look on Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel's face said it all following the 34-24 loss against Maryland on Saturday. Disbelief and disappointment reigned down from Teel to the small group of players that still left in the locker room.

"As an offense, they took some things away," Mike Teel said. "We couldn't get the run game going. We should have been able to because they were taking some of the pass stuff away and they were staying back. They just played a better football game."

Teel did not have an overly bad game as he threw for 310 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. The offensive line had a harder time holding back the defensive pass rush in this game and Teel was sacked twice, the first time Teel had been sacked all year.

Rutgers must now question themselves and figure out where they stand following this tough loss that has dropped them out of the top ten in the rankings.

"I put it on ourselves," Scarlet Knight receiver Tiquan Underwood said. "We just didn't come out and play Rutgers football from beginning to end. We showed spurts of it, but we didn't put an entire game together."

Maryland rushed for 239 yards on the game and dominated time of possession by controlling the ball for just under 37 minutes. What Rutgers lacked in size is usually made up for in speed and good tackling, but Terrapin running back Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball were able to use speed and elusiveness to get extra yards on carries.

"We just didn't do our jobs," Rutgers safety Courtney Greene said. "It is all about just doing our job. Every time they (Maryland) popped a big run, it was one or two people not fitting where they are supposed to fit. That is what our defense is about, everyone just doing their job and today they popped big runs and they have a great team and a great offense and they produced more then us today."

The loss was not described as shocking by most of the Scarlet Knight players, but they did look surprised and upset knowingly feeling they did not play their best. Linebacker Brandon Renkart, however, would use the word that most media members wanted to hear out of the players.

"It is definitely a shock," Renkart said. "I would expect going into the game to win and be confident. But yeah, coming out here, it is definitely shocking."

Greene did not want to say the game was a shock and rather gave Maryland all the credit for winning the game.

"We knew Maryland was a great team," Greene said. "They have a lot of weapons on offense. We knew they would play hard with their backs against the wall being 2-2. Today they played good football and they played better then us."

Last season, Rutgers broke into the top ten after defeating Louisville and went out the next week after losing to Cincinnati. Similarly this season, the Scarlet Knights got back into the top ten following the bye week and lose the first game they play.

"We know that we are an elite program," Rutgers defensive tackle Eric Foster said. "We practice like it and we prepare like it, we have the facilities to do the job. We just have to get the job done."

The attention of the players is going to begin to shift towards the start of Big East conference play, as Rutgers will welcome in Cincinnati next weekend. The Scarlet Knights will be looking for revenge after being outplayed by the Bearcats last season.

"We got a lot to learn from this game," Foster said. "The Big East is wide open, every game is a hard game. We have to get prepared."

Still, questions will remain and after the game on Saturday.

Do you know why you weren't able to get the run game going? "Gotta watch the film," Teel said.

Do you think you went away from the run too soon? "No," Teel replied.

Was there a sense of momentum following the two touchdown scores at the end of the first half which saw Rutgers take the lead? "We came out and went three and out I think, so there wasn't too much momentum," Teel said.

Were you prepared? "If we weren't, we shouldn't have been out there," Teel said. "Yeah we were ready."

Do you believe in your team's resolve? "We'll find out how we handle adversity," Teel said. "We got Cincinnati coming in seven days, they don't care what just happened here. They are ready to come in and play a football game."

And so, with the barrage of Top 10 and Top 25 upsets of this past weekend behind everyone, Rutgers along with several other notables must perform a quick reality check lest things – indeed, the season – begin to get out hand.

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