Rutgers and Maryland have had a very competitive series over the years. Maryland holds the slight edge with a 9-7 record against the Knights. Let’s take a look back at some of the notable games over the years.
The 1920 football season was not one of Hall of Fame Rutgers coach George Sanford’s best teams. They finished with a 2-7 record but their first win of the year came against Maryland. Rutgers won the game 6-0 in the first meeting between the two schools.
Rutgers and Maryland played multiple times in the 30s and 40s but did not meet again until the Terps traveled to Piscataway looking to upset the 10th ranked Scarlet Knights. Rutgers had not lost at home since November of 2005. They were coming off their best season in program history and were off to a great 3-0 start. The hype had never been bigger for the program as they came in as 16 point favorites. Maryland dominated the opening half and had a 14-3 lead with six minutes left in the 2nd quarter. Suddenly, the Rutgers offense woke up and scored two touchdowns in the final minute of the half to take a 17-14 lead to the locker room. It seemed like Rutgers finally figured it out and the upset bid was no longer in the cards. That ended up not being the case at all… Maryland ran all over Rutgers in the second half. Keon Lattimore had 34 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown and Lance Ball was also extremely effective with 12 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown. Maryland’s defense did a great job of containing Ray Rice who finished with 97 yards on 21 carries. Rutgers cut the Maryland lead to three with four minutes left when Mike Teel orchestrated an 11 play 77 yard touchdown drive. However, everytime Rutgers threw a punch, Maryland responded with one of their own. Lance Ball ran into the endzone with 2 minutes left to give Maryland a 34-24 lead and the victory. Rutgers was upset for the second straight season when ranked in the top ten. Maryland’s quarterback Chris Turner was added to the long list of backups that have defeated the Scarlet Knights.
The first BIG game between these two schools was a very memorable one. Rutgers offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen was returning to his alma mater after being the head coach of Maryland from 2001-2010. Friedgen was Maryland’s head coach when they upset Rutgers in 2007 but his relationship with the school had completely changed after a rough ending in 2010. Maryland’s offense completely dominated the first half. They were led by a very balanced attack of quarterback CJ Brown and running back Brandon Ross. After Deon Long caught a 9 yard touchdown pass from CJ Brown, Maryland was up 35-10 with only 2:52 left in the first half, the game seemed to be out of reach. It was now or never for Rutgers. Gary Nova led them all the way down the field and found Andre Patton for a 1 yard score with 9 seconds left in the half. Rutgers went into halftime with a little bit of momentum and they were also getting the ball back to start the second half. Behind the arm of Gary Nova, Rutgers dominated the second half as they outscored Maryland 24-3. Nova finished with 347 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. Rutgers had three receivers that went over 100 receiving yards. Deep into the 4th quarter, Rutgers had come all the way back and were clinging to a three point lead with Maryland inside the Rutgers 40. It was a 3rd and 1 and Maryland ran a jet sweep to the right side of the field. Darius Hamilton ran all the way across the field to stop Deon Long short of the marker. I highly recommend checking this play out on Youtube because it is one of the best plays you will ever see a defensive lineman make. Maryland decided to go for it on 4th and 1 and once again Rutgers stuffed them with the help of Kemoko Turay and Delon Stephenson. Because of the defensive stand, Rutgers was able to knee the ball out and get the 41-38 comeback victory.
In a lost season for both teams, Rutgers and Maryland faced off on a cloudy and cold day in Piscataway. Chris Laviano led the Rutgers offense with 344 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. Leonte Carroo finished with 7 catches, 183 receiving yards and 1 touchdown in his final game as a Scarlet Knight. After dominating the first half, Rutgers went into halftime up 31-13. The second half was a completely different story as Maryland came storming back. The Terp’s rushing attack torched the Rutgers defense for 401 yards. After Maryland took a 39-38 lead, Rutgers answered with a 30 yard field goal with 5 minutes remaining in the game. This Rutgers lead was short lived, as Brandon Ross ripped an 80 yard touchdown run on the very first play of their drive to give Maryland a 46-41 lead that they would not give up. The Terps snapped an eight game losing streak with the 21 point comeback victory a year after blowing a 25 point lead to Rutgers.
Rutgers and Maryland were both looking for their 3rd win of the Covid shortened season. It was a back and forth affair between two teams that were very shorthanded. Maryland’s quarterback Taulia Tagaliova was out because of Covid and Rutgers’ quarterback Noah Vedral left the game with an ankle injury. The first half was a defensive slugfest as Maryland went into the locker room with a 3-0 lead. Once Bo Melton ran for a 44 yard touchdown, the game completely opened up. Both teams traded blows until Rutgers found themselves down 24-21 with 6 minutes to go. Quarterback Art Sitkowski drove Rutgers down the field to set up Valentino Ambrosio for a 39 yard field goal as time expired. Ambrosio drilled it and therefore the game went to overtime. Rutgers offense had to settle for a field goal so it was up for the defense to make a stand. They did exactly that as Mike Tverdov sacked Eric Najarian to set up a 50 yard field goal to extend the game. Joseph Petrino missed it and the entire Rutgers sideline stormed the field in celebration. Rutgers escaped College Park with a gritty 27-24 victory.
Maryland returns to Piscataway this weekend with the winner receiving an invitation to a bowl game for the first time in a long time. The last time Rutgers won a Big Ten game at home was in 2017 against……Maryland.