I haven’t written much about Rutgers football this season because, well, there’ hasn’t been much to write about. After three straight losses to start the season, it seemed pretty clear that the glory years of 2006 and 2007 were not to be this time around.
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Written off and under fire after losing five of its first six games, Rutgers is on the verge of completing one of the biggest in-season turnarounds in the history of the program that helped launch college football.
Mike Teel threw for 359 yards and a touchdown and the once-downtrodden Scarlet Knights became bowl eligible by beating Army 30-3 on Saturday for their fifth straight win.
“It’s nice to be bowl eligible again,” defensive tackle Pete Tverdov said. “It shows how far we have climbed from a couple of weeks ago. It has shown the tremendous character this team has, the leadership this team has and how truly tight we are as a family.”
It’s a far cry from early in the season, when coach Greg Schiano was under fire and fans were calling for Teel to be replaced despite three straight bowl appearances.
Teel said the recent surge might be even more gratifying than the Scarlet Knights’ 9-0 start in 2006.
“You can only deal with what is in front of you, and that’s what this football team has done,” said Teel, whose passing total was 2 yards shy of his career best. “We have worried about what is in the present, what we are preparing for, and not dwelling on the past or the way things started or the what ifs in the future, like bowl games. It’s been about this moment, and we have grown as a football team.”
And, hey, we did better than Michigan this year.