Sunday, December 13, 2020

Cornhuskers Visiting The Birthplace of College Football This Friday

The schedule is out for next weekend's Big Ten "Champions Week" in this unique 2020 season, and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights will be facing the 2-5 Nebraska Cornhuskers on December 18 at 4:00, getting one last chance for a home win at Rutgers Stadium after three B1G road wins over Michigan State, Purdue, and Maryland.


Saturday, November 28, 2020


If anyone had told you at the end of Rutgers' 2019 football season that the Scarlet Knights would average over 30 points a game in their first six Big Ten games of 2020 -- without ever scoring less than 20 points -- you would have laughed. I know I would have laughed. Last year the Knights were shut out in three of their first six B1G games and they averaged 4 points per game (4!) in that stretch.

After this evening's 37-30 win over Purdue, the Knights' record is only 2-4, but even that win-loss record seems deceptive. They have fought hard until the bitter end of every game. The 3OT loss to Michigan and the 3-point loss to Illinois easily could have been (or should have been) wins. The Knights weren't embarrassed against the Buckeyes and they even gave us the play of the year (almost) near the end of the Indiana game.

With Greg Schiano back at the helm, I know I'm having more fun as a Rutgers football fan than I have in years. And there's still a chance of ending with a .500 record in the Big Ten for the first time since joining the conference in 2014.

I just wish I could be watching live at Rutgers Stadium. Last week's Michigan OT game would have been a blast (and may have turned out differently in a loud stadium).

Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Schiano 2.0 Era is off to a great start!

On this day when Greg Schiano announced his return in East Lansing, Michigan, with a 38-27 win over the Michigan State Spartans, I couldn't help thinking about his last game as Rutgers' coach, with a bowl win over Iowa State at Yankee Stadium that Greg dedicated to Eric LeGrand.

Welcome Back to the Banks of the Old Raritan, Greg!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Rutgers is paying Falwell University a Million Bucks?

Maybe this sign of the apocalypse is the sign that 150 years of football on the banks is enough.
 "Rutgers will pay Liberty a $1,000,000 guarantee for the game, according to a contract obtained by NJ Advance Media. That payout is bigger than Rutgers’ two most-recent non-conference home losses. Buffalo received $900,000 for its win in Piscataway a year ago and Eastern Michigan was paid $860,000 for its victory in 2017."
Sending a state university's funds to Falwell "University"? I guess we're just lucky that Trump University never fielded a team.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Monday, November 6, 2017

It All Began on This Date in 1869.

Today's the 148th anniversary of the first intercollegiate football game on November 6, 1869, so I'm reposting this transcript again. This appeared in a bicentennial anthology of Rutgers stories published in 1966.

This report of that first "foot-ball" game between Rutgers and Princeton was reported in the Targum in 1869, and reprinted in Aloud to Alma Mater, edited by George Lukac (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1966, pages 67-69).

The Birth of Intercollegiate Football
On Saturday, November 6, Princeton sent twenty-five picked men to play our twenty-five a match game of foot-ball. The strangers came up in the ten o’clock train, and brought a good number of backers with them. After dinner, and a stroll around the town, during which stroll billiards received a good deal of attention, the crowd began to assemble at the ball ground, which, for the benefit of the ignorant, we would say, is a lot about a hundred yards wide, extending from College Avenue to Sicard Street. Previous to calling the game, the ground presented an animated picture. Grim looking players were silently stripping, each one surrounded by sympathizing friends, while around each of the captains was a little crowd, intent upon giving advice, and saying as much as possible. The appearance of the Princeton men was very different from that of our own players. They were almost without exception tall and muscular, while the majority of our twenty-five are small and light, but possess the merit of being up to much more than they look.
Very few were the preliminaries, and they were quickly agreed upon. The Princeton captain, for some reason or other, gave up every point to our men without contesting one. The only material points were that Princeton gave up “free kicks,” whereby a player, when he catches the ball in the air, is allowed to kick it without hindrance. On the other hand, our practice of “babying” the ball on the start was discarded, and the ball was mounted, in every instance, by a vigorous “long kick.”
Princeton won the toss, and chose the first mount, rather oddly, since it had been agreed to start the ball against the wind. At three p.m. the game was called. The Princetonians suffered from making a bad “mount” or “buck” as they call it; the effects of which were not remedied before the sides closed, and after a brief struggle, Rutgers drove it home, and won, amid great applause from the crowd. The sides were changed, Rutgers started the ball, and after a somewhat longer fight Princeton made it a tie by a well directed kick, from a gentleman whose name we don’t know, but who did the best kicking on the Princeton side.
To describe the varying fortunes of the match, game by game, would be a waste of labor, for every game was like the one before. There was the same headlong running, wild shouting, and frantic kicking. In every game the cool goal-tenders saved the Rutgers goal half a dozen times; in every game the heavy charger of the Princeton side overthrew everything he came in contact with; and in every game, just when the interest in one of those delightful rushes at the fence was culminating, the persecuted ball would fly for refuge into the next lot, and produce a cessation of hostilities until, after the invariable “foul,” it was put in straight.
Well, at last we won the match, having won the first, third, fifth, sixth, ninth, and tenth games; leaving Princeton the second, fourth, seventh, and eighth. The seventh game would probably have been added to our score but for one of our players, who, in his ardor, forgot which way he was kicking, a mistake for which he fully atoned afterward.
To sum up: Princeton had the most muscle, but didn’t kick very well, and wanted organization. They evidently don’t like to kick the ball on the ground. Our men, on the other hand, though comparatively weak, ran well, and kicked well throughout. But their great point was their organization, for which great praise is due to the Captain, Leggett ’72. The right men were always in the right place.
After the match, the players had an amicable “feed” together, and at eight o’clock our guests went home, in high good spirits, but thirsting to beat us next time, if they can.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

We don't fear the turtle.

Was anyone else thrilled when this Saturday's game was moved from Yankee Stadium to Rutgers? Anyone who had attended the Pinstripe Bowl games there knows that the field in the Bronx is no place to play or watch football.

See you in Piscataway in three days! It's time for a third B1G win, especially after so many critics picked Rutgers to go winless in the conference in 2017.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

It's been too long since a B1G win

It was finally fun to update the schedule on the Beat Visitor sidebar today.
And it wasn't that close.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Those Buckeyes Were Just Copying the Scarlet Knights (and not only by copying the color scarlet)

There's a great article by Ryan Dunleavy on this morning with the title, "Did Rutgers, not Ohio State, start helmet stickers in college football? Here's proof." Not only is it worth reading this piece about large stars added to the front of Rutgers helmets for interceptions in 1961 in its own right, but the timing is perfect with the Buckeyes coming to town in two days.

See you there.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Losing Streak Is Over

The only two games at Rutgers Stadium that I missed last year were the two wins, so it was great to be there today for the 65-0 win over Morgan State.
To celebrate, here's the band playing 'The Bells Must Ring' before the game.