That play exemplified the kind of day Rutgers football (1-3) structured against Football Championship Subdivision member Morgan State (2-2).
Teel threw for 188 yards and a score, redshirt freshman Jourdan Brooks rushed for a career-best three touchdowns and the Scarlet Knights defeated the Bears, 38-0, before an announced crowd of 42,411 at Rutgers Stadium.
"It feels good to win," RU head coach Greg Schiano said afterwards. "It's been a little bit of a drought."
Unlike their previous three contests, the Knights capitalized on good field position, turnovers and early scoring.
They also manufactured 21 points on their first three possessions, for the first time since the 2007 season. The second drive of which, Teel, an in-the-pocket quarterback, extended with his career-long outburst.
Teel dropped back to pass, avoided a sack in his own endzone and legged out the 20-yarder. He discussed the play after the game.
"It was third and long, they max dropped, we had some pressure," he said of the Bears' coverage. "I stepped up, there was nothing there and I just took off."
Rutgers tailback Mason Robinson, who unexpectedly remained on the sidelines last game, finished off the 9-play 86-yard drive with his first career touchdown.
The Scarlet Knights built a 21-0 first quarter lead behind Robinson's and two of Brooks' three produces and never looked back against Morgan State. Brooks totaled 18 carries and 67 yards in front of his parents, both Morgan State alumni; Joe Martinek added 30 yards on 9 touches; Robinson produced 18 yards in limited action.
"We prepared harder than we had (been)," Teel said. "It's an important step and it makes it easier to come in tomorrow to get ready for an extremely talented football team next week."
With the game out of reach by the fourth quarter, Teel relaxed on the sidelines and redshirt sophomore Chris Paul-Etienne handled the snaps under center.
"I think Chris has worked very hard," Schiano said, referring to Paul-Etienne, who moved up on the depth chart, due to Jabu Lovelace's recent leg injury. "It was a great opportunity for him. He did some nice things under pressure. He scrambled for the one first down. He doesn't look rushed back there. He looks very under control, which is good."
Also credit Schiano, the Knights' defensive coordinator, who orchestrated an impressive performance by his defensive unit after three games of zero turnovers.
"Hopefully that can be the beginning of something," Schiano said of the Knights' four takeaways. "We made some plays, but we left some on the table."
Some of those plays included Jamaal Westerman's punt block, interceptions by Courtney Greene and Damaso Munoz and fumble recoveries by George Johnson and Ryan D'Imperio. The defense also limited the Bears to 31 carries for 32 yards, had three sacks and registered their first shutout since they blanked Norfolk State, 59-0, last season.
"Anytime you get a shutout, it's a great effort," Schiano said.
The four turnovers resulted in a total of 28 points for the Knights, who open the Big East Conference schedule at West Virginia (2-2) next weekend. The Mountaineers dominated Marshall, 27-3, this afternoon and have never lost to Rutgers in Morgantown.
"It's certainly better than going in there 0-4," Schiano said. "You have a win under your belt."
Tim Brown had four receptions for 69 yards, including a over-the-shoulder touchdown catch, while he was interfered with and place kicker San San Te booted a 19-yard field goal, all before halftime.
After a winless stretch, Teel enters the final stage of his collegiate career.
"I thought the big thing (was) Mike really performed well today," Schiano said of Teel, who tossed an interception and fumbled twice, but always maintained control of the offense.
"It's so hard being a college football quarterback," Schiano said. "It's not been easy for Mike. I think it was a good step for him."
Although Schiano indicated the win as a good step, he could have easily referred to Teel's first quarter run.
Notes: Dennis Campbell and Kevin Haslam replaced Kenny Britt and Anthony Davis, who were suspended one game for violating an undisclosed team policy. Howard Barbieri also earned his first career start at left guard.
Schiano said Mike Gilmartin and Courtney Greene were sore. Kordell Young did not compete due to his right knee injury.
"He's not ready yet," Schiano said of Young. "He's getting better."
Teel went 8-8 before he tossed two straight incompletions. He finished 11-18.
Morgan State struggled from the opening kickoff. In addition to the inefficient ground game, quarterbacks Carlton Jackson and Mario Melton threw for a combined 77 yards and two picks. The defense added two INTs, the second off Paul-Etienne and one fumble recovery in the defeat.
Rutgers Gets 1st Win
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