The win streak is gone. Which, for some reason, made me think of Simon and Garfunkel's song America.
Cathy, I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
Michigan seems like a dream to me now
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I've gone to look for America....
Cathy, I'm lost, I said though I knew she was sleeping
And I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They've all come to look for America
“Empty and aching”. Maybe thinking of what might have been. But for now....
This Week....in Rutgers....Football....History (*echoing* history...history....history)
Last year: October 29 and the Knights were on a bye. I think that’s a good way to start our look back. Hey, we were 2-10 - having a week where we didn’t lose is a good thing!
2007, Ten years ago: It was Nov. 3 in East Hartford. Rutgers was on its way to a 7-5 regular season, ending with a win over Ball State in the International Bowl. But on this Saturday, the No. 16/20 Huskies throttled the Knights, 38-19. The 8-1 doggies blocked a punt and had a kickoff return for a touchdown. Rutgers had 511 yards of total offense, but was held to four Jeremy Ito field goals in the red zone.
1972: Nov. 4 of my senior year and RU is playing Connecticut (that was before they realized that UConn sounded cool). A bit of a different ending than ‘07 as Rutgers took the 21-13 win at Rutgers Stadium.
That season, each game program highlighted a different aspect of “The Football Scene”. This week, my favorites: the officials!
1970: Halloween afternoon and the Knights were hosting Bucknell in Piscataway. RU would go 5-5 that year, but today was one of the good games as they took down the Bison, 21-7. Rutgers went 4-1 at home and 1-4 on the road. The one road win, at Boston University, I was on the call for WRSU, high above old Nickerson Field. The cover artwork for the game program for the Bucknell was, as often the case, by New Jersey sports cartoonist Bill Canfield.
1968: This was a good year for the Knights as they went 8-2 on the season. This game against the Fightin’ Blue Hens of Delaware would be the second of five wins to close out the season for RU, and on Homecoming no less. On Nov. 2, the homestanding Knights would take the 23-14 victory. The program cover, showing some creativity and humor, has the old Rutgers Stadium concrete press box in the background. And I go back far enough to remember when the stakes actually did have points on the bottoms so you could stick them in the ground.
Sherman, crank up the power to the Way Back Machine!
Okay, let’s really look back to the time when vinman, RUinChiTown, and I were just young lads and we didn’t even know what Rutgers was!
1956: In an otherwise bad 3-7 season, Nov. 3 was a good day for the Scarlet. Their old Middle Three friends from Lafayette came calling. Billy Austin was a rising star for the Knights, and while this year’s squad wasn’t very successful, it was the start of an upward trend for the Knights. RU won the game, 20-19.
1955: Delaware. We seem to constantly be playing Delaware! But unlike 1956, this was not a bright spot in a 3-5 season. The Blue Hens traveled north on Oct. 29 to face the Scarlet. Rutgers averaged less than 12 points per game that season, and Delaware didn’t help as the visitors won, 33-7.
And while I think there may be a few leather helmets in that cover photo, there are definitely no facemasks! Yeah, tough guys, see how you’d do back then!
Next week: Happy Valley calleth! Coach Hype awaits the Scarlet and we’ll be here on #TBT to look at what happened the week of Nov. 5-11 in Rutgers....Football....History (*echoing* history...history....history)