It’s week five of our feature highlighting past games that occurred this week in Rutgers football history. The Knights host the big, bad Buckeyes but we look back as we take a look back at....
This Week....in Rutgers....Football....History (*echoing* history...history....history)
Last year: September 24 was the Iowa game, which we covered last week because I kinda messed up or cheated or tweaked my own guidelines. So, we’ll go back to 2015; remember that glorious campaign? Because, in fact, that was a glorious day as the Knights hosted and beat Kansas, 27-14 on Homecoming. Rutgers had a season-high 312 rushing yards and held Kansas to 64 rushing yards on 29 carries. Josh Hicks led the way with 113 yards and two touchdowns, with Robert Martin adding 102 yards. It was the second time in their careers that Hicks and Martin had rushed for 100 yards in the same game. Rutgers had a 20-7 halftime lead as quarterback Chris Laviano threw touchdown passes to Carlton Agudosi and Matt Flanagan.
1991: Before we joined the Big Ten, Rutgers had a 3-2 record against the Spartans. We should have scheduled them more. In 1991 the Knights traveled to East Lansing as the second half of a home-and-home slate, having lost at the Meadowlands by a 34-10 count. And I’m sure Sparty was looking for a second helping; didn’t happen. Tom Tarver threw scoring passes of one and two yards to tailback Antoine Moore, the second with 46 seconds left in the game to put the Knights up, 14-7. That stood and Rutgers improved to 3-1. The game winning drive came off a 20-yard punt return by Marshall Roberts to the RU 46. Receivers James Guarantano and Chris Brantley would haul in most of the yardage as the Knights went in for the winning score.
1992: September 26 - Annapolis is a great site for a football game; even better if you win. And Rutgers did, topping the Middies, 40-0. It put Rutgers at 3-1 on the season as they prepared for next week’s contest at the Meadowlands against No. 8 Penn State (which we will not discuss here).
1971: September 25 - Another reason why Princeton didn’t want to play Rutgers anymore. The New York Times headline proclaimed it an “upset” as the Knights thumped the home-standing Tigers, 33-18. Leo Gasienica, or Lee as the Times reported it, ran for one touchdown and passed for two more. He was 10 of 24 for 170 yards. Besides Gasienica’s, touchdowns were scored by Larry Robertson (2) and Ron Shycke. It was new University president Edward Bloustein’s first football game, having given the team a pep talk in the morning. Dr. Barchi, your turn?
1951: September 29 - A jaunt out Rt. 22 west to Easton, PA (remember there were no interstates at this time) and a contest with the Leopards of Lafayette. It was no contest as the Knights crushed Lafayette, 47-12. While this was the “golden Age” of Rutgers football - with Frank Burns having starred just a few years earlier - maybe of greater interest was the opponent’s football vision. According to the Wikipedia piece (the source of all knowledge), “Lafayette gradually de-emphasized football with the inauguration of alumnus Ralph Cooper Hutchinson as president of the College....Additionally, with the rise of state universities through the influx of returning servicemen and state funding, Lafayette and other small private schools were at a competitive disadvantage in financial support and recruiting. During this era, Lafayette defeated Lehigh only eight times out of 31 games and Rutgers only three times through the cessation of the rivalry in 1975.” Coulda been a different school in that scenario! And, by the way, Rutgers finished the season 4-4.
1931: September 26 - This was the mid-point in Providence College’s 20 year experiment with football. Rutgers helped the Friars to decide their football fate as the Queensmen dropped the visiting Friars by a 19-0 count on their way to a 4-3-1 record. .
Next week: Rutgers has a bye, and while they’re off, we refuse to rest. We’ll be here on #TBT to look at what happened the week of Oct. 1-7 in Rutgers....Football....History (*echoing* history...history....history)