Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
About the only thing that wasn’t ugly on Rutgers’ sideline Thursday night was Erin Andrews.
The Scarlet Knights were slaughtered, 44-12, by a North Carolina team that hadn’t won outside the state of North Carolina since 2002.
RU has now been outscored 68-19 in back-to-back home losses to Fresno State and North Carolina.
Here are some legitimate questions going forward:
1-What is up with Mike Teel?
Through two games, the senior QB has five interceptions and just one garbage-time TD Thursday night. In the season opener against Fresno State, he over- or under-threw targets Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood on several occasions and threw two picks. Tonight he added three more INTs, including a 64-yarder by Bruce Carter for a touchdown.
“Two of (the interceptions) today were off check-downs,” said Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano, whose team was embarrassed by his former University of Miami mentor Butch Davis. “We just got a little sloppy and weren’t accurate with the check-downs. The turnover margin, period. We haven’t gotten any. We’ve given up six.”
2-Just how hurt is Kordell Young?
After rushing 26 times against Fresno State, Young injured his surgically repaired left knee (but not the surgically repaired part) during practice and didn’t play at all against UNC. Mason Robinson started instead. You have to ask how wise it was to give Young that many carries in his first game back from reconstructive knee surgery.
“Kordell hurt his knee…but he thought it was going to be OK,” Schiano said. “We thought it was going to get better. Instead, it turned the other direction.”
3-How much trouble is the Rutgers secondary in?
Two teams have come in and hung 68 points on the Rutgers defense. Jason McCourty was absolutely smoked tonight when TJ Yates hit Brandon Tate on a 69-yard TD pass. Yates hit Tate at the Rutgers 32 and he ran the rest of the way untouched.
4-Why can’t Rutgers win at home?
The Knights are 5-5 in their last 10 home games, and 5-7 overall since losing to Maryland last season.
“It’s frustrating,” Schiano said. “We just don’t quite understand how to seize the moment right now, so we need to get better at that.”
5-How mediocre is the Big East?
The Big East is the definition of mediocre at this point. The eight teams in the league are a combined 8-8 entering Friday’s Kansas-South Florida game.
RU must play 3 of its next 4 on the road, including visits to Big East preseason No. 1 West Virginia and Cincinnati. The Knights visit Navy next Saturday.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.