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Unbeaten Rutgers blanks Navy; QB Hampton dislocates knee

Oct 14, 2006 - 8:55 PM ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (Ticker) -- Rutgers shut down the nation's best rushing offense. But Navy appeared lost after quarterback Brian Hampton went down with a dislocated left knee.

Mike Teel passed for a career-high three touchdowns, including a pair to Tiquan Underwood, and the 24th-ranked Scarlet Knights recorded seven sacks and blocked two punts in a 34-0 victory over Navy.

The Midshipmen (5-2) averaged 350.5 rushing yards in their first six games. Hampton led the running attack with an average of 107.5 yards per game and 10 touchdowns.

But Hampton dislocated his knee in the first quarter after being tackled by Ramel Meekins on a five-yard run and was carried off the field on a stretcher.

Navy was unable to generate any kind of rushing attack without the leader of its triple-option offense. The Midshipmen finished with 110 yards on 50 carries and managed just 159 total yards and nine first downs.

"I feel bad for Brian," Navy coach Paul Johnson said. "He was really starting to play well and grow into the position. A lot of guys had tears in their eyes. It really affected us."

It was the second shutout of the season for the Scarlet Knights (6-0), who defeated Illinois, 33-0, on September 9.

Teel completed 15-of-25 passes for 221 yards and sophomore Ray Rice, who averaged 161 rushing yards in Rutgers' first five games, produced 93 yards on 21 carries.

The win made the Scarlet Knights bowl eligible at the earliest date in school history. It's their best start since an 11-0 campaign in 1976.

"It's as good as you can ask at the midway point," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "But we know what lies ahead."

The Scarlet Knights visit Pittsburgh next week in a Big East Conference game.

Teel connected with Underwood on a 26-yard touchdown pass with 1:17 left in the second quarter to give Rutgers a 10-0 halftime lead.

Teel hit Underwood again on a nine-yard scoring play with 9:21 left in the third quarter and also threw a 30-yard touchdown to James Townsend with 13:23 to play.

Sophomore Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada replaced Hampton and completed just 2-of-6 passes for 28 yards and rushed 22 times for 11 yards. Jarod Bryant came in for Kaheaku-Enhada in the fourth quarter and wasn't any better, completing 2-of-10 for 21 yards.

"You can't lay all the blame on the quarterbacks," said Navy fullback Adam Ballard, who gained 23 yards on eight carries after rushing for 134 yards last week against Air Force.

It marked the first time Navy has been shut out since November 16, 2002 against Connecticut and it came before a record crowd of 36,918 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

A hush fell over the crowd when Hampton was injured in the first quarter after being tackled by Meekins. As Hampton was placed on a stretcher and carried off the field, the crowd chanted the quarterback's name. Hampton responded by raising his arm with his index finger extended.

"I'm on the field trying to calm him down and all he did was keep apologizing to me," Johnson said.

Meekins and defensive end William Beckford each had two sacks.

Jeremy Ito kicked a 30-yard field goal with 8:39 left in the second quarter after each team failed to score on its first four possessions.

Rutgers put together a six-play, 59-yard drive later in the quarter. On a 3rd-and-10 play, Teel hit Townsend with a 29-yard pass. Three plays later, Underwood caught a short pass over the middle and turned it into a 25-yard touchdown.

"I have great receivers," Teel said. "Tiquan made that touchdown happen with his running ability after the catch."

A blocked punt by Manny Collins set up Teel's nine-yard touchdown pass to Underwood in the third quarter.

Another blocked punt by Glen Lee led to a 24-yard field goal by Ito, increasing the lead to 20-0 with 5:59 left in the third quarter.

Kordell Young completed the rout with a three-yard touchdown run with 2:37 remaining in the fourth quarter.

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