|Scarlet Knights need leaders to pull team together|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 01 October 2007 00:29|
The Big East Conference schedule is going to be tough for the next month.
The Scarlet Knights have No. 20 Cincinnati at home this week, Syracuse on the road the following week and then home games against No. 6 South Florida and No. 13 West Virginia.
``We have to learn from this game,'' cornerback Jason McCourty said after then-No. 10 Rutgers was stunned 34-24 by Maryland on Saturday. ``The Big East is wide open. Every game is a hard game and you have to be prepared.''
Despite having a week to prepare for Maryland, Rutgers was gashed by the Terps' running game and an outstanding effort by backup quarterback Chris Turner, who led Maryland to 20 second-half points.
Maryland outgained Rutgers 458-392 in total offense, including 239-82 on the ground. The Terps also had the ball for almost 37 minutes, thanks to the running attack and three Scarlet Knights turnovers.
``I will have to look at the film to know exactly what went wrong today,'' Rutgers defensive tackle Eric Foster said. ``But I know we need to improve. Even though their line was bigger than us, we've encountered this before against other opponents. We knew we could compete against Maryland, but we just didn't get the job done.''
Neither did the offense.
Mike Teel led the Scarlet Knights to three touchdowns and a field goal, but the unit that averaged 46 points in the first three games only mustered seven points in the second half.
What made the performance so surprising was that Rutgers scored 14 points in the final minute of the first half to take a 17-14 lead.
Poised to ride that momentum, Rutgers went three-and-out on its opening series of the second half and never got going until late in the fourth quarter when it trailed 27-17.
Ray Rice scored with 4:41 to play, but the Scarlet Knights could not complete a pass after getting the ball back at their own 20 down by three points with about two minutes left.
``We have a lot of resolve,'' Teel said. ``I am sure we will turn it around. Our job is to win football games and we will now work on improving so we are ready for this week.''
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano had a little good news on Sunday, at least medically. Safety Ron Girault sustained an ankle injury on Saturday and his status for the Cincinnati game will be determined later this week.
It had appeared on Saturday that Girault had suffered a serious leg injury.
``There's a ton out there. Nothing's done,'' Schiano said in looking forward to the rest of the season. ``We just have to regroup, get our medical situation assessed and make plans and move forward.''