Sure, for the first time in seven years, the Rutgers University football team has no chance of making a bowl game. While no bowl game is within reach, Rutgers still has some things to play for.
Pride. It’s been a very tough and devastating season for Rutgers. Their high hopes of competing for a Big East title disappeared quickly. Will they quit? I know many of you will say this team quit a long time ago and that is hard to argue. I will say this is a team with many distractions and many things on the mind other than football, but they won’t quit. Head coach Greg Schiano will not allow them to quit.
The devastating life changing injury to defensive stand out Eric LeGrand was the final straw in a long line of issues on and off the field this season. Schiano made it public earlier this week that many of his players lost parents throughout the season. How can a young man trying give all his focus to football when a teammate is laying in a hospital bed, or a parent has passed away?
Nobody wants to say losing is ok. It is however, just a game.
With that said, Rutgers will be trying to end a couple losing streaks. When Rutgers steps onto the field in Morgantown, West Virginia for the noon kickoff, they will attempt to stop a five game losing streak. All five losses were to Big East opponents.
Rutgers will also be trying to end a 15 game losing streak against West Virginia and get their first ever win on the road against the Mountaineers.
17 seniors will be playing their final game in a Rutgers uniform. Many of the 17 have played significant minutes and major roles for the Knights this season. Howard Barbieri and Kordell Young are the most recognized offensive players of the group. Joe Lefeged, Antonio Lowery, Brandon Bing, Charlie Noonan, and Alex Silvestro lead a very talented group of senior defensive players. This these guys will be motivated to play well in their final game and not go out the way the previous two games have?
Schiano insists he is playing to win and not going to necessarily let players audition for next season. That’s all fine and good but with a stand out performance by a young player, you know Schiano will keep that in the back of his mind. Schiano will take a look at which players continue to play hard despite having no post season game to play for.
Pride, snapping a streak, or one final game; which would be the biggest motivation factor for you? It may be a disappointing season, but the Rutgers Scarlet Knights still have things to play for. If nothing else, there is still school pride. They will still be representing Rutgers University.
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