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Head Coach: Greg Schiano (19-39, 5 years) 2005 Record: 7-5,4-3/T3rd Big East Venue:Rutgers Stadium
Location: Piscataway, NJ Turf: Artificial Capacity: 42,000 Seating Chart:
Coming into last season, Rutgers had just 4 winning seasons the last 24 years despite the fact that they are the only Div IA coljege team located in a highly populated NY/New Jersey area. Schiano endured a 25 game Big East losing streak and came close to a bowl in 2003 (5-7) but lost to Connecticut despite a 455-321 yd edge. After being outgained by margins of 297.9 ypg and 239.7 ypg in Big East play in 2001 and '02, they were only outgained by 27.6 ypg in 2003. They upset Mich St inthe 2004 opener but were stunned by New Hampshire (Div IAA) the following week. They moved to 4-2 but lost their final 5, all to bowl squads. They were only outgained by 22.5 ypg in conf play, which was actually a better mark than 2 BE bowl squads (BC and Big East Champ Pitt)! Coming into last season they had only beaten one school that finished with a winning record in the Schiano era and were 3-24 in the Big East. In the magazine, I called for Rutgers to achieve their 2nd bowl game in school history and end a 27 year bowl drought as they had 17 returning starters and were -7 in turnovers in 2004. Schiano had seven 5th year seniors (from his first recruiting class) and 19 seniors overall and the Knights matched my expectations. They had four Big East road wins in their first 14 years in the league but knocked off Syr and Conn in back-tp-back road games and their 22 point win over Syr was their biggest road win since 1986. Despite leading Illinois 27-10 after 3Q's, they missed 4 FG's and suffered a tough 33-30 loss. They opened up 6-2 (best start since 1979). Six turnovers led to 28 USF points and vs WV the Knights were without 3 defensive starters. They had a 4-0 TO deficit in a driving rain with WV's.first two TD's coming on a blocked PR for a TD and a 28 yard drive after a fumble. They had the advantage of playing a Conn team down to its 3rd string QB and also blew a 24-10 lead (with :39 left 1H) in their bowl. Rutgers had their first positive yardage differential vs Big East foes with an impressive 70.4 ypg edge. They outgained foes at home by an avg of 75.8 ypg (were outgained by 2.2 ypg road). This year they must replace their top QB and WR but keep in mind, Hart was benched for Teel last year until Teel was injured. The Knights averaged 28.7 ppg on offense of which was their best total since '93. The Knights 4,765 yards offense broke 1995's school record of 4,701 and they should top that mark again this year. Rutgers allowed 25.6 ppg which was the best in the Schiano era thanks to a tremendous pass rush.
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