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Knowing your enemy: 2014 Rutgers football opponent - Howard Bison

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Taking a look at the annual FCS matchup for Rutgers.

Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

If you're a fan of these cupcake games, better start savoring them now. With the whole College Football Playoff thing actually happening, schools will be forced to schedule tougher opponents. Rutgers looks ready to adopt that philosophy, as the last FCS school on the schedule is set for 2017. While the program could amend the schedule in the meantime, we're most likely witnessing the end to paid wins. Anyway, let's take a look at a familiar FCS opponent, the Howard Bison:

Head Coach: Gary "Flea" Harrell

Key returning players: QB Greg McGhee, RB Anthony Philyaw, S Cameron Alston

2013 Record: 6-6 (4-4 MEAC)

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference has been a familiar foe for Rutgers over the years, as the Knights have had matchups with North Carolina Central, Norfolk State, and Howard, while Morgan State is scheduled for the 2017 season. Rutgers last played Howard in 2012 and 2009, with RU prevailing over the Bison in both games by a combined score of 71-7. In fact, Rutgers has outscored the MEAC 341-14 since the 2006 season.

This game serves as a prime candidate for RU to extend its shutout streak. Since 2000, the Scarlet Knights have shutout an opponent at least once in a season. Rutgers has a very good chance to stop the Bison from reaching the endzone, but there are some challenges in week 2. Howard returns quarterback Greg McGhee, who is the defending MEAC Co-Player of the Year. The dual-threat senior led the conference in total offense in 2013, amassing 273 yards per game, including 896 rushing yards for the season.

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The Bison might be an FCS program, but our new conference mates in the B1G East will always remind us that we should never take these paycheck games lightly. Howard was picked to finish fourth in the MEAC, the highest predicted finish in over a decade. With the big game coming up the following week, Rutgers could come out flat against an overmatched opponent (a familiar feeling for Rutgers fans).