Rutgers Rallies Past N.C. State
by Mike Mitchell
December 29, 2008
Rutgers rallied from a 17-6 halftime deficit to beat N.C. State 29-23 and pocket its' third straight bowl win, all with Mike Teel behind center. The Scarlet Knights had never won a bowl game until the 2006 Texas Bowl and had made just two bowl appearances prior to 2006.
N.C. State head coach Tom O'Brien had his personal 7-game bowl winning streak snapped as he suffered just his second-ever bowl loss (7-2).
Wolfpack QB Russell Wilson was sidelined for the second half with a sprained knee after racking up 245 yards of total offense. He threw for 186 and a TD, and added 59 yards on the ground. Daniel Evans was 5-of-12 for 82 yards with a TD and 2 INT's in relief. Harris Beck played briefly and also threw a pick with no completions on 4 attempts. Wilson threw just 1 interception all year.
Rutgers senior QB Teel passed for 319 yards, 2 TD's and 1 INT as he improved to 3-0 in bowl games. Kenny Britt became the Big East's all-time leader in receiving yards with 3,043. He had 6 catches for 119 yards and a TD.
The Scarlet Knights began the year 1-5, but finished with seven straight victories to go 8-5.
N.C. State started the season 2-6, but won its last four to become bowl eligible.
After Rutgers rallied to take a 19-17 lead early in the fourth quarter, Evans brought the Wolfpack right back with a 16-yard pass to Anthony Hill that made it 23-19. A 2-point conversion pass attempt failed.
The Scarlet Knights needed just two plays to regain the lead on Teel's 42-yard pass to Britt. After intercepting Evans on the next series, Rutgers ate up over six minutes of the clock and San San Te kicked a 24-yard field goal with 47 seconds left for the final points of the game. An attempted last-minute drive by the Wolfpack ended with another interception of Evans.