October 13, 2006

Getting a Teel for it

Perhaps it is a sign that you're finally closing in on the big-time when you're 5-0 and ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in thirty years, and yet, the fanbase still finds time to complain about something.

For fans of Rutgers, the object of their ire is red-shirt sophomore quarterback Mike Teel. Teel, who took over for quarterback Ryan Hart last season after the latter suffered an injury, came into preseason as the consensus starter for the Scarlet Knights. The product of Don Bosco Prep has looked less then sharp this season.

It's been a tough season for Teel. After five games, Rutgers' total offense is at the bottom of the conference. The passing numbers are among the lowest in the nation. Far from the gaudy stats that he was hyped to achieve, Teel has achieved very quiet numbers thus far.

The boos and jeering started mid-way through the second game versus Illinois. During the home opener versus the Illini, Rutgers held a significant advantage in not only time of possession, but also in field position. Yet, Teel 'only' threw for 145 yards and a touchdown on 14 of 24 passing.

It only got worse for Teel the week after the Illinois victory. In a win over Ohio, Teel failed to put up the big numbers yet again, and the murmurs about his performance got louder and stronger. Despite the discord, the signal-caller didn't let it affect him.

"It doesn't affect you," said Teel. "You read it sometimes but it is obviously not something you want to have written about you. Does it worry me? I am not worried about it; I just need to get my job done."

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