Sean Merriman, web editor, September 12, 2014

The stadium was shaking, the cameras were flashing, and the celebration was on. It was a defining moment for Rutgers? football program. The Scarlet Knights had just pulled off the greatest victory in school history, defeating No. 3-ranked Louisville in front of 44,000-plus fans at Rutgers Stadium.

The program that once set the standard for futility had just thrown a knockout punch to Louisville?s national championships hopes, and leading the charge was the Scarlet Knight?s quarterback, Mike Teel.

Rutgers? sophomore signal caller led an 11-play, 80 yard drive, which concluded with Jeremy Ito?s 28-yard field goal with 13 seconds remaining to give the program its first win ever against a top-15 ranked program.

Now, more than eight and a half years removed from that thrilling win, Teel is back in New Brunswick, serving as a graduate assistant for the Rutgers football team. He will be on the sideline when the Scarlet Knights take on Penn State Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go. It will be Rutgers' first Big Ten conference game.

I caught up with Teel and asked him about his most memorable moment as a college football player.

Q: Many refer to that win over Louisville as the biggest win in school history. From a player standpoint, what made that game so memorable?

A: What made it so memorable was the hype surrounding the game itself and the way the media took the story and ran with it. We were both 9-0 going into that game and we had never really played in a game of that magnitude with that much on the line. If Louisville wins that game, they go on to play for a national title.

Q: You mentioned the ?hype? surrounding the game. Can you elaborate on that. Was there a moment that stood out to you that made you realize, ?wow, this is a big deal??

A: The one thing that really stood out to me was the way our fans got behind us. It really was the first time when we all said, wow this is big-time college football. Playing in the New York media market, there were 30-plus cameras every day at practice leading up to that game. We had never seen something like that. We had never experienced something like that up to that level. Everyone just kind of showed the football team what it is like to have a big-time football program in your state. It was really something to see.

Q: Your kicker, Jeremy Ito, kicked a game-winning field goal with 13 seconds remaining to seal the victory for you guys. That?s the No. 1 thing that people seem to remember about that game. Give me another moment in that game that stands out to you — one that the average person might not remember or know about.

A: I remember we went into halftime and we were down 25-14. We didn?t do much on offense early on, but we went into the locker room and never had a doubt in our minds we were going to find a way to win that game. We came out and we had a huge 60 yard play that set up a score to make it 25-21. The stadium was literally shaking it was so loud.

Q: It sounds like you had a close group of guys on that team. How often do you get together with them and reminisce about that game?

A: Yeah, those guys from that team are really close. The hardest part about keeping in touch is that a lot of guys from that team are still in the NFL. One of those guys, Brian Leonard, has a charity event where we get together and talk about that game. It?s like we never really left college. You create such great relationships in college because you are together 24/7.

Q: Fast forward a few weeks after that game, when Rutgers defeats Kansas State, 37-10, in the Texas Bowl, which marked the first bowl win in school history. What did it mean to be a part of history like that?

A: That was one of the soul reasons why I chose to go to Rutgers - I wanted to be a part of that history. I was actually born and raised just 45 minutes from campus. Coach Schiano (Greg Schiano) had a vision for this program, which included winning a bowl game. For that vision to finally show itself, and to have so many fans in Houston to celebrate with after a win, that is something I would have never dreamed about.

Q: Is there one memory from that game, or after, that really stood out to you?

A: I remember after the bowl game, going up the escalator at our team hotel, and seeing a sea of Rutgers fans chanting ?RU? at the top of their lounges. It honestly felt like we had just won a national championship.

Q: Can you compare those two games in any way? If you had to rank them, which one was bigger for this program?

A: I would think that the Louisville game was bigger, just because that game really put us in position to have the type of season we did. Remember, that was a Thursday night primetime game, played in front of a huge national audience. It was a statement game for our players and our program. We knew we were good enough to play on that type of stage. And after winning that game, we felt like we could play against anyone.

Q: Working for the team now, you are around these guys on a regular basis. What is the vibe there you get from the players about Rutgers joining the Big Ten?

A: Everyone is very excited about it. Everywhere I go, whether I?m out to dinner or just walking around, people are talking about how awesome it is that Rutgers is going to the Big Ten. From a player standpoint, the guys are excited about the move, but they also know they need to continue to work hard as hard as they can and prepare themselves because they know they are going to be playing against big time competition in the Big Ten.

Q: What was your personal reaction when you heard the news that Rutgers would be making the move to the Big Ten?

A: I was so excited. As you know, there?s a culture change going on throughout college football, and I was worried there that we?d be stuck. I grew up watching Big Ten football as a kid. You watch those great Big Ten rivalries - Michigan vs. Ohio State, Michigan vs. Michigan State, ect. So to me, it made all the sense in the world to join the Big Ten. And as a whole, I think the Big Ten is doing a lot for Rutgers, and in return, Rutgers is doing a lot for the Big Ten.

Q: What excites you about this upcoming game against Penn State?

A: Personally, I cannot wait for this game. It will be that Louisville-type of atmosphere here. I know that players are really excited for it as well.