No. 24 Rutgers Blanks Navy, 34-0
Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (File Photo)
Oct. 14, 2006
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Mike Teel threw a career-high three touchdown passes, and No. 24 Rutgers blanked Navy 34-0 Saturday to improve to 6-0 for the first time in 40 years.
The Scarlet Knights limited the nation's top-ranked rushing offense to 113 yards on 50 carries. Navy (5-2) had been averaging 350.5 yards on the ground and had not been shut out since a 38-0 defeat against Connecticut in 2002.
Rutgers' task was made easier by an injury to Navy quarterback Brian Hampton, who dislocated his left knee in the first quarter and could be lost for the season.
The Scarlet Knights, meanwhile, are bowl eligible on the earliest date in school history. The last Rutgers team to start 6-0 was the 1976 squad, which finished 11-0.
Hampton, the Midshipmen's leading rusher and the key to their triple-option offense, was hurt on a tackle by Ramel Meekins at the end of a 5-yard run. He was replaced by sophomore Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, who had thrown only five passes in Navy's first six games.
Kaheaku-Enhada rushed for 11 yards on 22 carries, numbers that included several sacks. He completed two of six passes for 28 yards before being replaced by Jarod Bryant with 13 minutes left.
Teel, a sophomore, went 15-for-26 for 215 yards. Tiquan Underwood caught two touchdown passes and Ray Rice ran for 93 yards on 21 carries, the first time this season he was held under 100 yards.
Rutgers used a 30-yard field goal by Jeremy Ito to take a 3-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Scarlet Knights made it 10-0 late in the half with a six-play drive that covered 59 yards in 38 seconds. Three plays after a Teel completed a 29-yard pass to James Townsend on a third-and-10, Underwood caught a short pass over the middle and took it in for a 25-yard score.
A blocked punt in the third quarter set up a 9-yard touchdown pass to Underwood for a 17-0 lead. The Midshipmen were then forced to punt, and Glen Lee blocked Greg Veteto's kick and recovered it to the Navy 9.
That led to a field goal, and Rutgers went up 27-0 early in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Teel to Townsend.
Navy's first possession nearly ended in disaster. Hampton fumbled upon being sacked, and Rutgers' William Beckford took the ball 6 yards to the Navy 1 before he fumbled into the end zone. The Midshipmen recovered for a touchback.
Five plays later, Hampton exited the game on a stretcher while members of the Navy Brigade chanted his name. Hampton responded by raising his arm with his index finger extended.