Rutgers Defeats Louisville: Awaits Bowl

PISCATAWAY, N.J. –Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano fulfilled his mission: He not only removed senior quarterback Mike Teel from the contest to a roaring ovation in the fourth quarter, but also guaranteed his seniors a fourth straight bowl appearance.

By that point, Rutgers held an insurmountable lead, as Teel threw for a school-record 447 yards and seven touchdowns, en route to the Scarlet Knights' impressive 63-14 win over Louisville in front a capacity crowd of 42,347.

Afterwards, Schiano discussed the bowl sentiment.

"It's my job, along with [athletic director] Bob Mulcahy, [Deputy Director of Athletics] Kevin MacConnell and those guys to make sure we get ourselves in the best bowl game possible," Schiano said. "And we've been doing that leading up to the game. I try to stay as uninvolved as possible, just to stay up to speed, in case I can lend anything."

In the first half of senior day, Teel punished the smaller and younger defensive backs, while demonstrating pinpoint accuracy and precise timing. One play in particular illustrated what was missing from the Scarlet Knights' offensive arsenal.

Teel launched a missile to the speedy Tim Brown, who broke free for the 74-yard score, a play that might have gone for an incompletion against Big East rivals West Virginia or Cincinnati.

But it was Teel, the Oakland, N.J. native, who directed six scoring drives for Rutgers [7-5, 5-4 Big East] before halftime. Shamar Graves, Tiquan Underwood [twice], Dennis Campbell, Kenny Britt and Brown [twice] were the beneficiaries of Teel's cannon.

Teel established several school and conference records: passing yards in a game [447], most TD passes in school history [57]; most touchdowns in a season [23]; and tied the Big East record with seven touchdown passes in one half.

With 14:25 left in the game, Teel left to a standing ovation, hugging Schiano on the sidelines.

"I just told [Teel], ‘I love him," Schiano said.

Completing their incredible comeback with a six-game winning streak, the Scarlet Knights now wait until Sunday night for an official bowl invitation, which can range from Papajohns.com [most likely] to the Sun Bowl and the Motor City Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit.

"I don't know. You try to call the people you build relationships with and explain to them the things we believe about Rutgers," Schiano said. "That's why you always have bowl people.

"They come up to your games, you entertain them. It's not like picking up the phone with them for the first time."

Teel said he plans to watch the upcoming games this weekend.

"Yeah, now that we're done and we're sitting around waiting, I have no idea where we're going to go," he said. "All I know is we're 7-5, we dug ourselves out of a huge hole and we're bowl eligible and we're looking forward to going to playing somewhere."

The running game also succeeded despite the last-minute scratch of Kordell Young due to a head injury suffered in practice. It was Britt who started the ground attack with a 31-yard end around for a score. Tailbacks Jourdan Brooks [11-126 and 1 TD] and Joe Martinek [18-57] shared the bulk.

In what is becoming an annual rivalry, Louisville [1-6, 5-7 Big East] lost for the second time in the last three years and fell out of bowl contention. The Cardinals had an opportunity to keep this game close, as their offense pushed up field, but Devin McCourty recovered a forced fumble at RU 2.

That play and Rutgers ensuing 98-yard scoring drive took Louisville out of this contest, which turned ugly [RU 49-0] by halftime. After the game, Cardinals head coach Steve Kragthrope addressed the drive.

"It was very frustrating for two reasons," he said. "The thing that is most frustrating is we get down seven to nothing and then we get a great drive, drive down and we have to make it 7-7 at that point in time.

"But we turn it over and now in that situation it's on the two-yard line and, hopefully, we can get them to turn it over, and make a play there to get off the field on third down and get field position back and go down and tie the game. But they go down and make it 14-0. So, yes very frustrating."

Afterwards, the Scarlet Knights celebrated by their student section, some players tossed towels to the remaining fans…and Schiano finally opened up about a bowl game.

"But now I will get more involved and just see if I can get the best situation for Rutgers and our team and our fans and our University."


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