|Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel vows to play against West Virginia|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 22 October 2007 14:12|
``That's not happening,'' Teel said when asked if he might miss the No. 25 Scarlet Knights' game on Saturday. ``Not happening. I will be there.''
Coach Greg Schiano came very close to lifting Teel in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's 30-27 win over then-No. 2 South Florida because the redshirt junior had trouble griping and throwing the ball.
Teel hurt his right thumb against Cincinnati on Oct. 6 and the injury now involves a bruised hand.
``You hit a helmet and it's a bruise,'' said Teel, who has thrown for 1,996 yards and 14 touchdowns. ``It goes from you hand to your thumb, it's all the same kind of area. It's a bruise.''
Teel's hand was wrapped in white gauze and adhesive tape on Monday.
``He's sore,'' Schiano said of Teel after practice. ``He couldn't do a ton, but he did enough.''
Despite being in his second full season as a starter, Schiano said Teel needs to practice to play. He also has faith that his quarterback would let him know if he could not.
``I trust Mike,'' Schiano said. ``Mike will tell me the truth. All our kids will, but Mike won't go over to try to be a hero. Winning is the most important thing to him and he would let me know.''
Teel agreed with his coach, to a degree.
``I'll have to tell him after I am out there once, but I will be out there,'' Teel said. ``I don't have any worry that that will be the case. I'll work with the training staff. They do a great job and I'll be ready to go.''
Schiano said his biggest concern is that Teel is not throwing the ball as well as he can.
``He needs to keep his timing with the receivers and run some of the new things we have in for this game plan,'' Schiano said. ``Running the game, he is fine. He runs the game, he understands clock management. ... It's delivering the football, timing with the receivers and putting the ball where it needs to be.''
If Teel could not start, Jabu Lovelace would probably go. He has been Teel's backup the past two seasons, although most of his work in recent games has come in running situations.
``I have the utmost confidence in Jabu,'' Schiano said.
Teammates have faith that Teel will be the starter when the Scarlet Knights (5-2, 2-1) takes the field at Rutgers Stadium for their Big East Conference showdown with No. 6 West Virginia (6-1, 1-1).
``Mike is a tough guy,'' halfback Ray Rice said. ``As much as you need practice, Mike is a leader. He knows this offense really well. He'll be in there watching film and he'll be ready to go.''
Notes: Rice was named the conference offensive player of the week for gaining 181 yards rushing on a career-high 39 carries in the upset of South Florida. He became the first runner in 15 games to rush for at least 100 yards against the Bulls. He was also the last, gaining 202 yards in Tampa last season.