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2008 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Season
Rutgers QB Mike Teel
Rutgers QB Mike Teel
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 4, 2009


2008 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Dec. 29
2008 PapaJohns.com Bowl
Rutgers 29 … NC State 23

NC State was rolling in the first half as Owen Spencer took a pass from Russell Wilson 44 yards for a touchdown and Andre Brown ran for a five-yard score on the was to a 17-6 lead. But Wilson was knocked out for the game with a sprained knee and the Wolfpack offense, outside of an eight-play, 64-yard drive ending in a 16-yard Anthony Hill touchdown catch from Daniel Evans, went into the tank with Wilson out. Mike Teel and the Rutgers offense heated up with 23 second half points as Tiquan Underwood came up with an 11-yard touchdown catch in the third and Kenny Britt caught a 42-yard scoring pass to give the Scarlet Knights the lead for good. The Rutgers placekicking was rocky, but San San Te finished with three field goals including a 24-yarder in the final minute.
Player of the game: Rutgers QB Mike Teel completed 22-of-37 passes for 319 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. 
Stat Leaders: NC State - Passing: Russell Wilson, 11-23, 186 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Russell Wilson, 8-46. Receiving: Jarvis Williams, 7-126
Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 22-37, 319 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Joe Martinek, 9-58. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 6-119, 1 TD
Inside The Box Score ...  5 Thoughts on the PapaJohns.com Bowl …Turnovers: NC State 4 – Rutgers 1 … Net yards per punt: Rutgers 28 – NC State 4.5 … Total offense: Rutgers 437 yards – NC State 363 … 2nd half time of possession: Rutgers 19:58 – NC State 10:02. … Rutgers made 8 tackles for loss, NC State made 7.

- 2008 Rutgers Preview
- 2007 Rutgers Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 7-5
2008 Record: 7-
6

Sept. 1 Fresno State L 24-7
Sept. 6 OPEN DATE
Sept. 11 North Carolina L 44-12
Sept. 20 at Navy L 23-20
Sept. 27 Morgan State W 38-0
Oct. 4 at West Virginia L 24-17
Oct. 11 at Cincinnati L 13-10
Oct. 18 Connecticut W 12-10
Oct. 25 at Pitt W 54-34
Nov. 1 OPEN DATE
Nov. 8 Syracuse W 35-17
Nov. 15 at South Florida W 49-16
Nov. 22 Army W 30-3
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE
Dec. 4 Louisville W 63-14
PapaJohns.com Bowl
Dec. 29 NC State L 29-23

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 10-2
2007 Record: 8-5

Aug. 30 Buffalo W 38-3
Sept. 7 Navy W 41-24
Sept. 15 Norfolk State W 59-0
Sept. 29 Maryland L 34-24
Oct. 6 Cincinnati L 28-23
Oct. 13 at Syracuse W 38-14
Oct. 18 South Florida W 30-27
Oct. 27 West Virginia L 31-3
Nov. 3 at Connecticut L 38-19
Nov. 9 at Army W 41-6
Nov. 17 Pitt W 20-16
Nov. 29 at Louisville L 41-38
International Bowl
Jan. 5 Ball State W 52-30

Dec. 4
Rutgers 63 ... Louisville 14
Mike Teel threw seven touchdown passes and Rutgers rolled for 671 yards of total offense in the blowout win. The Scarlet Knights got up 42-0 at halftime helped by a 35-point second quarter highlighted by Tim Brown touchdowns from 74 and 37 yards out. A 23-yard Dennis Campbell touchdown catch with 18 seconds to play capped a half with six Teel touchdown throws and a 31-yard Kenny Britt scoring run. Louisville started the scoring in the second half with a one-yard Brock Bolen run, but Britt answered with a 44-yard touchdown catch. Rutgers averaged 11.4 yards per play; Louisville averaged 4.9 yards per play.
Player of the game: Rutgers QB Mike Teel completed 21-of-26 passes for 447 yards and seven touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Louisville - Passing: Hunter Cantwell, 24-34, 270 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Brock Bolen, 12-33, 1 TD. Receiving: Doug  Beaumont, 8-97
Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 21-26, 447 yds, 7 TD
Rushing: Jourdan Brooks, 11-124, 1 TD. Receiving: Tiquan Underwood, 5-88, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Talk about your turnarounds. With an emphatic blowout, Rutgers closed out the regular season with it fifth straight win in an utter destruction of Louisville. Mike Teel went from being a goat and unable to get the offense moving in the clutch, to the possible All-Big East passer after a flawless performance against the Cardinals. Give the coaching staff credit for settling everyone down and for righting the ship on what was turning into an ugly season. This might not have been the Rutgers of past seasons, the defense wasn't quite as good and there wasn't the same running game without Ray Rice, but overall, this might have been Greg Schiano's best job yet.

Nov. 22
Rutgers 30 … Army 3
Army fumbled twice with Rutgers’ Joe Lefeged taking the first one 58 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive. The Scarlet Knights would coast from there with three field goals from San San Te and a 26-yard touchdown catch from Shamar Graves for a 23-0 first half lead, and Tim Brown made it a blowout with a  19-yard touchdown run. Army finally got on the ball with a  24-yard field goal late in the third. Army finished with just two yards passing.
Player of the game: Rutgers QB Mike Teel completed 23-of-33 passes for 359 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Army - Passing: Chip Bowden, 2-4, 2 yds
Rushing: Collin Mooney, 20-112. Receiving: Damion Hunter, 2-2
Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 23-33, 359 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Joe Martinek, 9-53. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 10-197
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Talk about playing with confidence, Rutgers has been a night-and-day different team over the last five games than it was at the beginning of the year. Mike Teel is getting time to work and he’s been on. Army didn’t have a prayer of slowing down the Rutgers offense early on, but there three field goals when touchdowns would’ve put the game away earlier. No matter; after the start Rutgers had, it’ll be happy to be going to a bowl somewhere. After a week off there’s the home finale against Louisville to assure a spot. With a win, Rutgers would finish tied for second in the Big East.
 
Nov. 15
Rutgers 49 … South Florida 16
Rutgers forced six turnovers and never trailed as Mike Teel threw three touchdown passes with a 93-yarder to Kenny Britt and a 28-yarder to Shamar Graves. Teel also ran for a touchdown while the defense got into the scoring act, too, as Jason McCourty took one of Matt Grothe’s three interceptions for a touchdown. The Bulls pulled within 28-16 on a Taurus Johnson touchdown catch late in the third, but the Scarlet Knights scored the final 21 points of the game. Rutgers converted 10-of-14 third down tries.
Player of the game: Rutgers QB Mike Teel completed 18-of-29 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions, and he ran for a score
Stat Leaders: South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 28-43. 292 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Matt Grothe, 13-50. Receiving: Jessie Hester, 10-110
Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 18-29, 294 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Joe Martinek, 21-98, 2 TD. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 8-173, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... On a terrific four-game winning streak to save a dying season, Rutgers has cranked up the offense, has gotten good aggressiveness and intensity from the defense, and overall, the team is clicking at just the right time. QB Mike Teel is playing like a Big East Offensive Player of the Year, but his line deserves credit for doing a good job in pass protection. After destroying South Florida in Tampa, the team has to focus on Army and not get too puffy-chested. There’s still plenty of work to be done, Rutgers still has to get bowl eligible and it doesn’t want to go into an off-week before facing Louisville worrying about getting the sixth win.

Nov. 8
Rutgers 35 … Syracuse 17
Syracuse jumped out to a 14-0 lead on an 82-yard run from Doug Hogue and a blocked punt for a touchdown, but that was it. The SU offense did nothing from then on, finishing with 168 total yards, while the Rutgers offense got two Mike Teel touchdown passes in the second quarter and one in the fourth on Tiquan Underwood’s second scoring grab of the game. Joe Martinek took a direct snap for a 45-yard touchdown in the third to give the Scarlet Knights a comfortable 28-14 lead. Rutgers held the ball for 37:54.
Player of the game: Rutgers RB Kordell Young ran 29 times for 143 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 26-36, 276 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Kordell Young, 29-143, 1 TD. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 9-107, 1 TD
Syracuse - Passing: Cameroun Dantley, 3-12, 19 yds
Rushing: Doug Hogue, 1-82. Receiving: Doug Hogue, 1-12
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... All of a sudden, Rutgers is back in the mix for a bowl game. The first 20 minutes against Syracuse weren’t pretty, but Mike Teel found his groove and got the passing game working, while Kordell Young had a nice, efficient day on the ground. The defense dominated the Orange over the final three quarters and kept getting into the backfield on a regular basis. On a three game winning streak, everything has to keep working against a rested South Florida team next week. Win that game, and then the season really could turn out to be special.

Oct. 25
Rutgers 54 … Pitt 34
Rutgers got six touchdown passes from Mike Teel with three going to Kenny Britt as the offense exploded for the first time all year. RU jumped out to a 20-7 lead helped by a 60-yard catch from Tim Brown and a 79-yard play from Britt. Pitt was able to keep up the pace thanks to LeSean McCoy, who ran for touchdowns from 33 and 22 yards out along with two one-yard scores, but the Teel was one finding Brown for a 36-yard touchdown in the third quarter for a 41-31 lead, and Kordell Young put it away with two short scoring runs.  
Player of the game: Rutgers QB Mike Teel completed 14-of-21 passes for 361 yards and six touchdowns with an interception
Stat Leaders: Pitt - Passing: Bill Stull, 16-22, 279 yds
Rushing: LeSean McCoy, 26-146, 4 TD. Receiving: Jonathan Baldwin, 5-81
Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 14-21, 361 yds, 6 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Kordell Young, 20-83, 2 TD. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 5-143, 3 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Where was this Rutgers offense all year? The running game was fine against Pitt with Kordell Young doing a good job, but it was Mike Teel who had a bizarre, but productive day throwing six touchdown passes on just 14 completions. Is this really going to be the catalyst for a big second half? After beating Connecticut and now Pitt, two of the big boys are out of the way with a trip to South Florida the biggest remaining problem. There won’t be any Big East title talk, but bowl hopes are back on.

Oct. 18
Rutgers 12 … Connecticut 10
Connecticut had a chance to pull off the win with just over a minute to play, but Tony Ciaravino’s 42-yard kick hit the upright. Rutgers took advantage of good field position to get a six-yard Kordell Young touchdown run and a safety in the third quarter on the way to a 12-3 lead, but Connecticut came back with a 47-yard Kashif Moore touchdown catch in the fourth to pull within two. That was as close as the Huskies would get.
Player of the game: Rutgers LB Ryan D’Imperio made 11 tackles and a tackle for loss
Stat Leaders: Connecticut - Passing: Zach Frazer, 14-20, 236, 1 TD
Rushing: Donald Brown, 27-107. Receiving: Martin Bedard, 4-76
Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 17-30, 192 yds
Rushing: Kordell Young, 28-80, 1 TD. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 9-107

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Finally, Rutgers pulls off its first win of the year over an FBS team, and it did it with the defense. The Scarlet Knights all but shut down Connecticut RB Donald Brown in the second half and time and again halted drives. The Rutgers offense didn’t do much, but there weren’t any major mistakes and it took advantage of the opportunities it had. This was a nice win, but beating Pitt next week would be truly big.

Oct. 11
Cincinnati 13 ... Rutgers 10
In an ugly game with a combined 19 punts and 20 penalties, Cincinnati got an eight-yard touchdown run from Chazz Anderson in the second quarter and field goals from 19 and 50 yards from Jake Rogers to hang on. Rutgers got a 17-yard touchdown catch from Jack Corcoran in the third quarter along with a 50-yard bomb of a field goal from San San Te. Cincinnati only gained 97 rushing yards and Rutgers gained 62.
Player of the game: Cincinnati QB Chazz Anderson completed 21-of-29 passes for 239 yards, and he ran for a score
Stat Leaders: Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 19-35, 175 yds
Rushing:
Kordell Young, 22-78. Receiving: Kevin Brock, 7-51
Cincinnati
- Passing: Chazz Anderson, 21-29, 239 yds
Rushing:
Jacob Ramsey, 14-85. Receiving: Marcus Barnett, 5-79
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
The running game hasn't shown up so far this season, and it's obviously not going to be a factor all year long. It was nowhere to be found against Cincinnati, and Mike Teel and the passing game couldn't pick up the slack. It hasn't been able to get the job done all season long. Even at 1-5, the team has to try to make something positive happen quickly to turn things around. There are tough road games at Pitt and South Florida ahead, but there isn't any one game that's a sure-thing loss for a team whose last three losses have come by seven points or fewer.

Oct. 4
West Virginia 24 … Rutgers 17
West Virginia got two touchdown passes from Pat White, a 25-yarder in the first quarter to Tyler Urban and a 14-yarder to Jock Sanders in the second, but he got knocked out of the game in the third quarter. Jarrett Brown came in and ran for a one-yard score to put the Mountaineers up 24-10, but Rutgers fought back. Mike Teel ran for a touchdown and threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Tim Brown, but the final drive was halted with a broken up fourth down pass. Kenny Britt caught 12 passes for 151 yards for the Scarlet Knights, while all-star safety Courtney Greene made 13 tackles.
Player of the game: West Virginia QB Pat White completed 12-of-17 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns, and ran 11 times for 59 yards in three quarters of play.
Stat Leaders: Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 14-32, 170 yds, 1 TD
Rushing:
Jourdan Brooks, 17-58. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 12-151
West Virginia
- Passing: Pat White, 12-17, 137 yds, 2 TD
Rushing:
Pat White, 11-59. Receiving: Jock Sanders, 4-47, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Ray Rice, where are you? The Baltimore Raven is desperately needed by a Rutgers running game that’s non-existent. It only came up with 72 yards against West Virginia, and while QB Mike Teel had his moments, the passing game was a nightmare at times with too many dropped passes and misfires. This just isn’t a sharp team. It hung around with West Virginia and had a chance late to pull it out, but again, a missed pass proved costly.

Sept. 27
Rutgers 38 … Morgan State 0
Rutgers came up with a 38-point first half with three short touchdown runs from Jourdan Brooks, a four-yard Mason Robinson touchdown run, and a 25-yard touchdown catch from Mike Teel. A forced fumble led to a 19-yard San San Te field goal with no time left in the first half. The offense shut it down in the second half, but the defense took care of things allowing just 109 yards and keeping MSU from converting a third down chance. The two teams combined for seven turnovers.
Player of the game: Rutgers RB Jourdan Brooks ran 18 times for 65 yards and three touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Morgan State
- Passing: Carlton Jackson, 6-12, 38 yds, 2 INTs
Rushing: Devan James, 15-37. Receiving: Robert Surratt, 5-60
Rutgers
- Passing: Mike Teel, 11-18, 188 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jourdan Brooks, 18-65, 3 TDs. Receiving: Tim Brown, 4-69, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
It wasn’t exactly a big win beating Morgan State, but after the disaster of the first three games of the year, it was a needed blowout before going to West Virginia. Mike Teel came up with several big plays to set up short scoring runs, but the ground game was mediocre coming up with just 93 yards. The offensive line had another mediocre game, but the defense never let the game get interesting. Even in a blowout, 297 yards against Morgan State isn’t a plus.

Sept. 20
Navy 23 … Rutgers 21
Matt Harmon nailed a 24-yard field goal with just over two minutes to play, and Rutgers’ final drive was stopped by a Ross Pospisil interception as Navy pulled out the comeback win. Rutgers was up 14-6 at halftime on two short touchdown runs from Joe Martinek and Jourdan Brooks, but the Navy offense took over in the second half as Eric Kettani, who ran for a career-high 133 yards, ran for a two-yard score and Tyree Barnes caught a 22-yard touchdown pass. Brooks gave the Scarlet Knights a fourth quarter lead on a 12-yard touchdown run, but Kettani and the Navy ground game marched back for the winning score.
Player of the game:
Navy RB Eric Kettani rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
Stat Leaders: Rutgers
- Passing: Mike Teel, 13-20, 131 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Jourdan Brooks, 22-134, 2 TDs. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 7-64
Navy
- Passing: Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, 5-8, 89 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Eric Kettani, 20-133, 1 TD. Receiving: Tyree Barnes, 2-63, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Rutgers needs this week’s date with Morgan State in the worst way. The offense isn’t scoring, QB Mike Teel is struggling, and the defense got soft against Navy at the worst time. On the plus side, Jordan Brooks was terrific running the ball, providing some hope for a rushing attack again, but the team appears to be imploding. Teel slapped a teammate, cornerback Glen Lee after the interception that sealed the Navy win. This is a frustrated team that needs something positive to happen in a big hurry.

Sept. 11
North Carolina 44 ... Rutgers 12
Rutgers got out to a 3-0 lead going into the second quarter, and then it was all North Carolina as Brandon Tate scored on a 69-yard catch and a 12-yard run, Hakeem Nicks caught two touchdown passes, and the defense came up with four interceptions with Bruce Carter taking one 66 yards for a touchdown. The Scarlet Knight offense only managed two field goals before finally getting into the end zone in the fourth quarter when the outcome had been decided. Rutgers was 0-of-9 on third down conversions.
Player of the game: North Carolina QB T.J. Yates completed 14-of-22 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 25-40, 243 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Mason Robinson, 16-82. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 8-109
North Carolina - Passing: T.J. Yates, 14-22, 221 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Greg Little, 18-71. Receiving: Hakeem Nicks, 6-63, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Blown coverages, turnovers, no running game ... Rutgers is a disaster. The defense couldn't handle the speed and athleticism of North Carolina, while QB Mike Teel struggled when he had to carry the offense. Teel threw four picks and the offense didn't come up with a third down conversion, and the defense didn't carry it weight, either. The Tar Heels moved the ball way too easily though the air. With Navy coming up next there's no reason to worry about the pass defense, but the offense has to figure out something that works in a big hurry.

Sept. 1
Fresno State 24 ... Rutgers 7
Fresno State's defense kept Rutgers off the board until the fourth quarter, while Ryan Matthews carried the Bulldog offense. Matthews gave FSU a 10-0 third quarter lead on a four-yard run, and he scored twice from one-yard out, after getting the team in a position for the short scores. Neither team scored in the first half and the two combined to convert just seven of 27 third down conversions.
Player of the game: Fresno State RB Ryan Matthews ran 26 times for 163 yards and three touchdowns, and caught a pass for 20 yards
Stat Leaders: Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 20-39, 263 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: Kordell Young 26-94, 1 TD. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 6-89
Fresno State - Passing: Tom Brandstater, 11-24, 216 yds
Rushing: Ryan Mathews, 26-163, 3 TD. Receiving: Seyi Ajirotutu, 3-116
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Rutgers needs to find a running game again. The strength might be the passing attack with the two excellent receivers and a veteran in Mike Teel, but too many passes were forced and too many drives stalled by trying for the mid-to-deep passes. The defensive front wearing down late didn't help, either. There's no reason to be too worried yet; Fresno State is a really good team.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Art Forst OL 6-8 305 Manasquan HS/Manasquan, N.J.
One of the top offensive line prospects in the country … three-year starter at Manasquan High School … played for the late Vic Kubu at Manasquan … Scout.com lists Forst as the No. 23 offensive tackle prospect in the nation … part of two Central Jersey Group II State Championship teams at Manasquan as a sophomore and junior, including a perfect 12-0 season in 2006 … finished high school career 29-5 at Manasquan.


Potential Instant Impact Players

Eric LeGrand LB 6-2 240 Colonia HS/Colonia, N.J.
Four-year starter for Colonia HS coach Ben LaSala ... consensus Top 15 recruit in New Jersey ... starred at linebacker and running back for a 7-3 Colonia team that finished with an undefeated division record for the first time in school history ... totaled 115 tackles from his middle linebacker spot and rushed for 980 yards and 12 touchdowns this past season ... ranked by Scout.com as the No. 14 recruit in New Jersey and the No. 21 middle linebacker prospect nationally ... First Team All-Area by the Home News Tribune ... Second Team All-State by the Associated Press ... First Team All-Middlesex County and Second Team All-State by The Star-Ledger.


Timothy Wright WR 6-4 205 Wall HS/Wall Township, N.J.
Versatile athlete who played tailback, wide receiver, cornerback and safety in leading Wall to a 5-5 record in 2007 … three-year starter for head coach Chris Barnes ... consensus Top 15 recruit in New Jersey ... rushed for 383 yards and three touchdowns while hauling in 23 receptions for 347 yards and six TDs ... rushed for 141 yards vs. Matawan ... caught four passes for 113 yards and two TDs vs. Middletown South ... Second Team All-Shore by the Asbury Park Press ... First Team All-Shore by The Star-Ledger ... ranked No. 10 in the state by Scout.com

Rest of the Class

MARVIN BOOKER LB 6-2 200  Piscataway HS/Piscataway, N.J.
MORGAN CARTER ATH 6-3 215  C.D. Hylton HS/Woodbridge, Va.
MARCUS COOPER WR 6-2 180  Bloomfield HS/Bloomfield, Conn.
KHASEEM GREENE DB 6-1 195  Elizabeth HS/Elizabeth, N.J.
MARQUIS HAMM DE 6-4 220 New Brunswick HS/New Brunswick, N.J.
D.C. JEFFERSON QB 6-6 240  Winter Haven HS/Winter Haven, Fla.
MALCOLM JOHNSON WR 6-1 170  Bartow HS/Bartow, Fla.
BRANDON JONES WR 6-1 175  Winslow Township HS/Sicklerville, N.J.
PATRICK  KIVLEHAN DB 6-2 205  St. Joseph's (Montvale)/West Nyack, N.Y.
EDDIE POOLE DB 6-3 185  Glades Central HS/Belle Glade, Fla.
DAVID ROWE DB 6-0 195  Cocoa HS/Cocoa, Fla.
STEVE SHIMKO QB 6-5 215  Ewing HS/Ewing, N.J.
KEITH STROUD WR 6-3 190  Fort Hamilton HS/Brooklyn, N.Y.
SCOTT VALLONE DT 6-3 260  St. Anthony’s/Central Islip, N.Y.
WAYNE WARREN WR 6-1 200  Wicomico HS/Salisbury, Md.
DEVON WATKIS OL 6-7 320  Longwood HS/Coram, N.Y.
RASHAD WHITE RB 5-11 170

 Teaneck HS/Teaneck. N.J.

2008 Early Lookahead
Why to get excited: Even with the early departure of RB Ray Rice, the offense should shine if QB Mike Teel makes another step up in his development. After doing nothing in 2006, he had a nice junior season and now gets his top receivers, Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood, back. With FS Courtney Greene putting off the NFL for one more year, eight starters return to the nation's 17th best defense.
Why to be grouchy: There's no replacing Rice. All he did was tear off 2,012 yards and 24 touchdowns along with 25 catches for 239 yards and a score. Making things hared for the running game is the loss of three key starters on the line, tackles Pedro Sosa and Jeremy Zuttah along with Mike Fladell. Jeremy Ito might have struggled as a punter, but he was a tremendously clutch placekicker.
The number one thing to work on is: Putting more pressure on Teel. Mason Robinson isn't going to be Ray Rice, and the line will need some retooling, so now Teel has to use all his experience and all his growing abilities to get the offense moving. Without Ito, the special teams will be a concern after finishing 117th in the nation in punting and doing little in the return game.
Biggest offensive loss: RB Ray Rice
Biggest defensive loss: DT Eric Foster
Best returning offensive player: WR Tiquan Underwood, Sr.
Best returning defensive player: FS Courtney Greene, Sr.

2007 Recap
Recap: Although the Scarlet Knights didn’t win the Big East title that they crave, eight wins and a second straight bowl victory were still building blocks for a program that’s just a couple years removed from being a laughingstock.  Rutgers was tough to get a read on all year, finishing fifth in a league of nine teams, yet beating South Florida when it was No. 2 in the country, and thrashing Ball State in the International Bowl.  RB Ray Rice solidified his spot as one of the greatest players in school history, rushing for 2,012 yards and scoring 25 touchdowns to top an outstanding sophomore season.         

Offensive Player of the Year: RB Ray Rice

Defensive Player of the Year: DT Eric Foster

Biggest Surprise: It’s hard to imagine today, but South Florida looked borderline invincible when it descended upon New Jersey on Oct. 18.  The Scarlet Knights ended the Bulls’ brief plans for a national championship with a second-half rally and some gutsy play-calling from Greg Schiano.

Biggest Disappointment: Back-to-back home losses to Maryland and Cincinnati following a cushy non-conference got Rutgers booted from the Top 25, drastically changing expectations for the program.  Losing to the Terps was especially difficult because the Knights got manhandled by a school that played most of the game with a backup quarterback.       

Looking Ahead:
Whether Rutgers is a contender for a BCS bowl game or another second-tier postseason game depends on how the program can get past Rice turning pro early.  The 2008 team belongs to QB Mike Teel, who made strides as a junior and will be welcoming back 1,000-yard receivers Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood.  

 

Related Stories
2009 Rutgers Recruiting Class
 -by ScarletReport.com  Feb 4, 2009
Signing Day Video Source
 -by FOXSportsRecruiting.com  Feb 5, 2009
Chat with Tom Luicci on Feb. 12th @8:30PM
 -by ScarletReport.com  Feb 6, 2009








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