The trip to Happy Valley did not turn out as we would have liked. But it certainly wasn’t as bad as some might have thought. It does lead us into this week’s #TBT as we look at:
This Week....in Rutgers....Football....History (*echoing* history...history....history)
Last year: It was Nov. 19 and we were at High Point Solutions Stadium....in the rain....against No. 9 Penn State. It was not pretty with the Nitty Kitties. 39-0. And, you know, not as close as the score indicates. PSU’s Trace McSorley was 17-for-33 passing for 210 yards and a touchdown, while running back Saquon Barkley rushed for a 92 yards and a score. Okay, that’s enough. On to, hopefully, more fun stuff.
Let’s spin the wheel and determine how many years back we go. Oooookay, spin it....click-click-click...click.....click.....click. Aaand, it’s gonna be-e-e-e...fifteen years!
2002: Did I say fun stuff? This is year two of the Schiano years so there was not a lot of fun. The team went 1-11 and on Nov. 16 Temple came to Piscataway. And to say it was a bad year, consider that the 20 points that the Owls scored were the fewest points scored by any team against the Knights that year.
1987: As Rutgers was going “bigger time”, a lot of games were played at Giants Stadium. In ‘87, RU played three games in the Meadowlands and only two at Rutgers Stadium. And you guys were upset about the Bronx! Well, on Nov. 14 Rutgers was not in Piscataway or East Rutgherford. The trek to Morgantown was another in a long list of losses to the “Neers, this a 37-13 thumping.
1972: Ah, my senior year...again. En route to a 7-4 season, the Knights hosted Morgan State on Nov. 18 in the “Urban Classsic”. Closing the season on a five game win streak, the 37-14 Rutgers victory was number four in that string.
1957: The days of nine-game seasons. RU would finish 5-4 and Nov. 16 was one of the four. The William & Mary Indians (yes, they were still the Indians then) hosted the Knights and were not very hospitable. Rutgers left Williamsburg on the short end of a 38-7 score.
1942: The war years, and the first season at war. And shortened seasons. In 1941, Rutgers played a nine game schedule; ‘42 saw eight, but in 1943 and 1944, the Chanticleers only played five games. Harry Rockafeller was in his second stint as head coach of Rutgers, and, yes, the RAC is on Rockafeller Road. On Nov. 14, Rutgers played Fort Monmouth, one of six home games, and tied the opposition, 0-0. Hey, there’s a war on, ya know!
1927: It was the last game of the season on Nov. 17. The scarlet were 3-4 as the Lehigh Engineers came to town. Coach John Wallace’s squad held off the visitors, earning a 12-6 win.
BONUS 1912: Rutgers traveled to Haverford, PA to play Haverford College, a school that hasn’t played football since 1971. The Fords - that’s their nickname now, I cannot verify 1912 - lost, 18-0, and gave Rutgers its third straight win on its way to a 5-4 season. By the way, Haverford teams are also - today - known as the Black Squirrels, which to the best of my knowledge are also found in and around Princeton. And they are nasty little rodents!
Next week: Thanksgiving is on the agenda next Thursday. And Rutgers Athletics wants a good crowd on hand for the Spartans on Saturday as evidenced by this tweet.
@RutgersU Students: Make plans to get back to town early !! @RFootball hosts Michigan St. at 4 PM next Saturday 11/25. The student claim is now OPEN: https://t.co/MoMVCOCSpC pic.twitter.com/YW8nBwSEyO— Rutgers Athletics (@RUAthletics) November 15, 2017
That means the final week of the regular season and the final installment of #TBT. And we will look at what happened the week of Nov. 19-25 in Rutgers....Football....History (*echoing* history...history....history)