Returning to Form

Tiquan Underwood ended his touchdown drought with two scores against Syracuse on Saturday. This could be the game that gets Underwood rolling, but the only stat he's concerned with is in the win column.

Down 14-0 in the second quarter, Underwood tallied his first TD of the year on a 5-yard pass from Mike Teel. That 11-play, 65-yard drive started a stretch where the Scarlet Knights would score 28 unanswered points.

After a 47-yard field goal by the Orange's Patrick Shadle ended the run, Underwood would put the game away for good when he connected with Teel for a 16-yard TD.

The senior wide receiver from Lawrenceville, N.J., doesn't look at the stats when he's assessing how his game went. He just wants to do whatever he can do to help this Rutgers team that's on a three game winning streak in the Big East.

"Basically, I just try to do whatever I could do to let our team win," Underwood said. "I just try to be a positive and not a negative. I don't worry about the touchdowns and the catches. With this team, nobody is selfish; we just try to do whatever we have to do to win the game."

Teel has also looked more like the fifth-year senior quarterback everybody expected as he threw for 276 yards and three TDs. Besides another big game by Kenny Britt, what stood out about the passing game was that Teel completed passes to eight different receivers.

Shamar Graves is being used more in the offense, and Tim Brown's game breaking ability is being incorporated more.

"Coach is just using all the assets of our offense," Underwood said. "You could tell it's versatile with eight different guys catching a ball on Saturday. It just goes to show that Mike can spread it out and that's only going to help our offense."

It all started for the offense in Pittsburgh, where they went up-and-down the field on the defensive minded Panthers for 54 points on the road. Wins always boost morale Underwood said, it was just a matter of the Knights finally showing what they were capable of on game day.

"Anytime you play well and win, you get more confidence," he said. "But we knew what was in us, we just had to keep working hard in practice so it would show on Saturday's."

With a chance to run the table and finish with seven wins, the Garden State's team will face its biggest challenge as they head down to take on the struggling, yet dangerous South Florida team.

Quarterback Matt Grothe and defensive end are enough to keep any coach up all night, but one of the main topics has been the hot Florida weather. To prepare for the shift in temperature, head coach Greg Schiano has his group practicing in the bubble with the temperature similar to what it's suppose to be on Saturday.

"It's all about hydration when you go from cold to warm," Underwood said. "[When it's the opposite], it's all about layers. You could dress warm, but you can't dress cold."

While some see it as a problem, Underwood prefers to play in the warmer weather.

"It's better because you get warmed up faster," he said. "Me personally, I like the warm weather, especially as a receiver because of all the running."


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