Papajohns.com Bowl: Rutgers (7-5) vs. NC State (6-6)

December, 7, 2008
12/07/08
9:19
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

The two teams' records make this look like an unappealing game. But look again.

Few teams closed as well as these two. Rutgers won its final six games behind an explosive offense and hard-hitting defense, while North Carolina State won its last four to get eligibility for this at-large berth, whipping North Carolina and Miami in the final two weeks.

It's a compelling matchup of quarterbacks. The Scarlet Knights' Mike Teel has been on fire, throwing 20 touchdown passes in his last five games, while Kenny Britt finished second in the nation in receiving yards. The Wolfpack ranked just 94th nationally in passing defense, so there's an area that coach Greg Schiano is sure to try and exploit.

On the other side, Russell Wilson has been remarkably efficient for NC State, passing for 16 touchdowns and just one interception this season.

The two coaches are very familiar with each other as NC State's Tom O'Brien had lots of success against Schiano when O'Brien was at Boston College. But Schiano was just getting the program going by the time O'Brien left for the ACC.

Rutgers seems like it's on a mission to prove that the 1-5 start was a fluke. The Scarlet Knights had hoped for a bigger bowl game to showcase its turnaround, but instead it gets a another team in a similar boat.

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