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News, insights and analysis on the Rutgers football program

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rutgers at Pitt

Greetings from the Steel City, where The Blog is making a triumphant return from a three-week absence to bring you some live action between the Scarlet Knights and the Panthers, who are set to kick it off at 3:30. 

The game is not on TV, but if your internet provider enables it, you can watch it at 

Pitt leads the all-time series 19-6, but the Knights have won three straight, including a 20-16 win last year in Piscataway and a 20-10 win here at Heinz Field in 2006. 

Here's the game day page in today's Trentonian. 

Big day for Pennsylvania sports teams: Pitt in action here, followed by Penn State at Ohio State later tonight in Columbus and weather permitting, the Phillies hosting the Rays in the Game 3 of the World Series. 

Update, 3:19: We're 10 minutes before kickoff and I'm going to take a wild guess and say there will be a few more people here tomorrow when the Steelers host the Giants. The student section in the end zone to my left is packed, but there are full sections of empty bright yellow seats. The Pitt band is color guard are on the field performing the Panthers' fight song. 

Update, 3:25: One lineup change to pass along: Caleb Ruch will start at left guard for Rutgers over Howard Barbieri. 

Update, 3:35: That was quick: three plays, 59 yards, one touchdown -- on a 33-yard run by LeSean McCoy, and it's 7-0 Pitt with 13;36 left in the first quarter. 

Update, 3:38: Wow. Talk about quick. Rutgers out-did Pitt, scoring on just TWO plays, when Mike Teel hit a WIDE OPEN Tim Brown for a 60-yard touchdown pass, putting the Knights on the board. Two plays, 71 yards, 55 seconds, and it's 7-7 with 12:41 left in the first quarter. 

Update, 3:58: Where has this been all season? Teel's pass to Brown had been the Knights' longest play of the season, but not anymore. Teel hit Britt on a 79-yard strike with 6:09 left in the first quarter, and the Knights lead 14-7. Brown had been wide open on his touchdown reception. Britt had a man on him, but went up and grabbed it, then took it to the house. 

Update, 4:04: All of a sudden, Rutgers is getting every break. Connor Lee's 45-yard field goal attempt bounced off the right upright, and the Knights' lead is still 14-7. Dom Natale is in at QB for Rutgers. 

Update, 4:11: At least for now, the Mike Teel of 2007 is back. Sure, he threw his first interception in three games. But he also has 200 yards passing and two TD passes at the end of the first quarter, and the Knights lead 14-7. 

Update, 4:17. Rutgers struck again, two plays into the second quarter, when Teel hit Britt for a seven-yard touchdown strike. San San Te's extra point was blocked, and with 14:04 left in the first half the Knights lead 20-7. 

Update, 4:24: Pass, pass, LeSean McCoy touchdown. Pitt reeled off that sequence in the first quarter and did it again in the second, with McCoy's 22-yard touchdown run getting the Panthers to within 20-14 with 12;53 left in the first half. 

Update, 4:31: Is that Dan Marino out there or Mike Teel? Teel threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game -- his career high, and one more than he had in the first seven games combined -- hitting Kenny Britt in stride to put the Knights up 27-14 with 10:34 left in the first half. Raise your hand if you saw THIS coming. 

Update, 4:38: The combined score of Rutgers last two games was 23-22. There's 8:45 left in the first half here at Heinz Field, and it's already 27-21 after LeSean McCoy's one-yard touchown run -- his third of the game -- got the Panthers back within striking distance. 

Update, 4:46: This Pitt defense is ABSOLUTELY INCAPABLE of stopping Rutgers. Teel marched the Knights down the field on a five play, 69 yard drive capped by a three-yard TD strike to Kevin Brock. Teel has five TD passes and somehow, some way, leads 34-21 with 5:26 left in the first half. The five TD passes ties a school record, and Teel still has more than 35 minutes of clock time left to work with. 

Update, 4:58: Connor Lee's 43-yard field goal made it 34-24 with 1:14 left in the first half. The Scarlet Knights stopped LeSean McCoy for no gain on third and one, forcing the field goal unit out and getting what, in this shootout, has to be considered a big stop. 

Update, 5:04: Rutgers leads 34-24 at the half. 

Update, 5:25: We're about to kick off for the second half. A cool stat on Teel, who completed 12 of 15 passes in the first half for a season-high 311 yards and five TDs: the five TDs are the most ever thrown in the first half of a Big East game. 

Pitt will kick off to start the second half. 

Update, 5:40: Rutgers is putting forth by far its best offensive output of the season, but not only is Pitt not going away, LeSean McCoy is putting on a show. The sophomore just found scored on a one-yard touchdown run for his career-high fourth TD of the game, and with 8:58 left in the third quarter, the Panthers are within three at 34-31. 

Update, 5:49: You just can't make this stuff up. Pitt forced Rutgers to go three and out, with Teddy Dellaganna punting out of the Knights' end zone. But Zaire Kitchen forced a fumble, Colin McEvoy recovered, and Mike Teel threw a 36-yard touchdown pass -- his Rutgers record sixth of the game -- to Tim Brown, and with 7:37 left in the third quarter, the Knights lead 41-31. 

Update, 6:13: Kevin Malast's 74-yard interception of Pat Bostick (in for an injured Bill Stull) set up an eight-yard Kordell Young touchdown, and Rutgers leads 48-31 with 31 seconds left in the third quarter. 

Update, 6:27: Conner Lee's 40-yard field goal made it 48-34 with 11:16 left in the game. Pitt drove to the Rutgers 23, but the Knights came up with a big stop when Bostick threw an incomplete pass on third and eight. 

Update, 6:40: Kordell Young's one-yard touchdown run made it 54-34 with 5:26 left in the game, and despite Pitt blocking another San San Te extra point, seemingly half the fans remaining in the stands started to head for the exits. Rutgers will win its second straight, improve to 3-5 and 2-2 in the Big East. 


Blogger Kevin said...

Good work on the blog.

October 25, 2008 4:54 PM 

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