With a career game from quarterback Mike Teel, who has completed 12 of 15 passes for 311 yards and five touchdowns, Rutgers holds a 34-24 halftime lead over No. 17 Pitt today at Heinz Field.
Teel has torched the Big East’s top-ranked pass defense – which was allowing only 156.5 passing yards a game – with a season-best performance.
He completed 6 of 8 passes for 201 yards in the first quarter alone.
The senior quarterback has thrown a career-high five scoring passes of 60 yards to Tim Brown, 79, 7 and 26 yards to Kenny Britt, who has five receptions for 143 yards, and 3 yards to tight end Kevin Brock.
Pitt tailback LeSean McCoy has 13 carries for 90 yards and tied a career high with three rushing touchdowns.
Britt’s second touchdown catch gave the Scarlet Knights a 20-7 lead at 14:04 of the second quarter. Pitt answered with a 22-yard scoring run by McCoy to cut it to 20-14 with 12:53 to play.
But Rutgers answered with a four-play, 56-yard drive capped by Teel’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Britt for a 27-14 lead. The Panthers responded with a 70-yard scoring drive highlighted by T.J. Porter’s 64-yard reception to the Rutgers 3 and capped by McCoy’s 1-yard run to make it 27-21.
The Scarlet Knights took advantage of a pass interference penalty and a 32-yard pass to Shamar Graves to set up Teel’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Brock for a 34-21 lead. Pitt’s Conor Lee made a 43-yard field goal with 1:14 to play to cut it to 34-24.
Pitt took a 7-0 lead only one minute, 24 seconds into the first quarter on McCoy’s 33-yard touchdown run. Rutgers wasted little time tying the score, as Teel connected with a wide-open Brown for a 60-yard touchdown pass only 55 seconds later.
Pitt had a fourth-and-2 at the Rutgers 21, but elected to try a fake field goal. Andrew Janocko’s pass, intended for tight end Dorin Dickerson, fell incomplete. Teel then tossed the touchdown pass to Britt for a 14-7 lead with 6:09 remaining. Pitt had another scoring chance, but Conor Lee’s 45-yard field-goal attempt hit the right upright.