The Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team finished the 2015-2016 season with a 4-8 record (1-7 Big Ten). The season ended abruptly with a 46-41 loss to Maryland in Piscataway. Rutgers held a 21-point lead in the first half and they let it slip away on senior day. They now have a new coach in former Ohio State defensive coordinator Chris Ash.
Here’s a look at the conference slate for Rutgers in 2016.
Iowa: This is the first Big Ten game of the year for Rutgers. The Hawkeyes are coming off of a season where they were just seconds away from a spot in the College Football Playoff. After a loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game, the Hawkeyes lost to Stanford in the Rose Bowl. They will be looking to come back and come back strong, just as Rutgers is. This should be a very exciting game between two very skilled teams.
at Ohio State: Chris Ash will return to Columbus, OH for the first time since he was their defensive coordinator under head coach Urban Meyer. Ash will know how the defense will be run, but will he be able to stop the high-powered Ohio State offense?
Michigan: The last time the Knights hosted the Michigan Wolverines, they knocked them off in a big upset win. Last year, during Jim Harbaugh’s first season, Wolverines dominated Rutgers in Ann Arbor. Now, Rutgers has their own great coach in Chris Ash. Which coach will come out on top?
Indiana: Last season, the Scarlet Knights overcame the biggest comeback in school history when they came back from a 25-point third quarter deficit to beat the Hoosiers by a final score of 55-52. Indiana will come into this game looking for revenge while Rutgers will be looking to prove they are the better team, whether they have to come back from another big deficit or not.
at Michigan State: In their last meeting, Rutgers hosted the Spartans in their annual blackout game. The Knights were looking to tie the game with the #4 team in the country, but on a fourth down, quarterback Chris Laviano spiked the ball to give the ball and the win to Michigan State. This time around, they will be looking to avoid any and all mistakes, especially mistakes like those.
Penn State: The game against Penn State was the first of three in which then head coach Kyle Flood was suspended for violating school rules. The Knights were dominated in every way possible in a 28-3 loss. This will be a revenge game for the Knights in 2016.
at Maryland: in 2014, Rutgers overcame what was then the biggest comeback in school history. In 2015, Maryland turned the tables on the Scarlet Knights and overcame a 21-point deficit to win. Will we see a third straight game where one of these teams has to overcome a big deficit to win?