1. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, was founded in 1766 as Queens College. Rutgers is the 8th-oldest college in the United States, and one of the nine "Colonial Colleges" that were chartered prior to the American Revolution. Rutgers is located in New Brunswick New Jersey, although the school's football stadium is located in nearby Piscataway. The school is named for Colonel Henry Rutgers, a Revolutionary War hero who in 1825 donated $5,000 (equivalent to $105,000 today) and a bronze bell (still in use) to the college. Rutgers's athletic teams are known as the Scarlet Knights and their mascot is known simply as The Scarlet Knight.
2. Rutgers is famous for playing in the first ever football game, on November 6, 1869, versus Princeton. The Scarlet Knights won that game, which has been described as a cross between soccer and rugby, by the unlikely score of 6-4. The two teams played a week later and Princeton prevailed in the rematch, 8-0. Both teams finished the season with identical 1-1 records, and they split the inaugural (retroactive) national championship awarded by the National Championship Foundation and recognized by the NCAA.
3. Rutgers's split national championship in 1869 is the only one in school history. The Scarlet Knights' title drought is 146 years and counting, a streak that would make the Chicago Cubs blush.
4. Rutgers has an overall record of 653-633-42, for a .508 winning percentage. The Scarlet Knights have 33 conference championships, but only one in a major conference (Big East co-championship in 2012). Thirty-one of Rutgers's conference titles were in the former Middle Three Conference (in existence from 1929 to 1975), which also contained Lafayette and Lehigh (both now FCS schools and members of the Patriot League).
5. After leaving the Middle Three Conference, Rutgers became an independent school from 1976 to 1990. During this period, Rutgers had a record of 87-74-4 (.539 winning percentage) and their best-ever single-season record (11-0-0 in 1976).
6. From 1991 to 2012, Rutgers participated in the Big East Conference. The Scarlet Knights' posted an overall record of 114-143-1 (.444 winning percentage), but their record in conference was just 48-101-1 (.323 winning percentage), with one co-championship in twenty-two seasons (2012).
7. Rutgers spent one year in the American Athletic Conference (2013) before joining the Big Ten to start the 2014 season. The Scarlet Knights have a 5-12 record in Big Ten play, including a 0-1 record this season (a 14-7 loss to Iowa last week). Rutgers has a record of 17-44 (.279 winning percentage) against teams currently in the Big Ten Conference.
8. Rutgers and Ohio State have played twice, once in each of the last two seasons. The Buckeyes won both meetings handily: 56-17 in 2014; and 49-7 in 2015.
9. Rutgers has had only four consensus All Americans in its history (Ohio State has had 81). End Paul Robeson was a two-time consensus All American (1917, 1918) before earning a law degree and embarking upon a career as a singer, actor, and political activist; Robeson was one of the first black players in college football and he is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. In 1961 center Alex Kroll became the second Rutgers player to earn consensus All American honors; Kroll would later become president and CEO of Young & Rubicam, the nation's largest advertising agency. Tight end Marco Battaglia became Rutgers's only unanimous All American after catching 69 passes for 894 yards and 10 touchdowns during the 1995 season; Battaglia was a second round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1996 NFL Draft.
10. Rutgers has been ranked in the final AP poll just four times: 1958 (20th); 1961 (15th); 1976 (17th); and 2006 (12th).
11. The biggest game in the history of Rutgers football happened on November 9, 2006, when the #15 Scarlet Knights (8-0) faced the #3 Louisville Cardinals (also 8-0) in Piscataway. After falling behind 25-7 midway through the second quarter, Rutgers scored 21 unanswered points including the game winning field goal by Jeremy Ito with just 13 seconds left on the clock. The Scarlet Knights were led by running back Ray Rice (22 rushes, 131 yards, 2 touchdowns); wide receiver Kenny Britt (2 receptions, 82 yards); and linebacker Devraun Thompson (9 tackles, 2 sacks, interception, forced fumble).
12. After its historic win over Louisville, Rutgers was ever so briefly in the 2006 national championship picture. However, the Scarlet Knights would go on to lose two of their next three contests (Cincinnati, 30-11; West Virginia 41-39) before rebounding with a 37-10 win over Kansas State in the Texas Bowl. Rutgers finished the season 11-2 and ranked #12 in both major polls.
13. Chris Ash, who was defensive co-coordinator at Ohio State in 2014 and 2015, was hired to be the head football coach at Rutgers prior to the 2016 season. Ash was replaced at Ohio State by Greg Schiano, who was the head coach of Rutgers from 2001 to 2011. At Rutgers, Schiano compiled an overall record of 68-67 (.504), and a record of 5-1 (.833) in bowl games.
14. Rutgers enters the game with a record of 2-2, with wins over New Mexico (37-28) and FCS Howard (52-14), and a blow out loss at #10 Washington (48-13) and a surprisingly close loss at home to Iowa (14-7). Statistically, Rutgers is middle of the road compared to other FBS schools, and significantly behind Ohio State in all major team categories. On paper, this game should not be close.
Team Total Offense NCAA Rank Score Offense NCAA Rank Total Defense NCAA Rank Score Defense NCAA Rank Turnovers NCAA Rank Ohio State 545.3 ypg 10th 56.7 ppg 3rd 278.3 ypg 14th 12.3 ppg 9th +9 1st Rutgers 387.3 ypg 86th 27.3 ppg 80th 362.5 ypg 45th 26.0 ppg 63rd -2 86th
15. Rutgers is led on offense by running back Robert Martin (58 rushes, 358 yards, 6.2 average, 1 TD) and quarterback Chris Laviano (59/113, .522, 647 yards, 5 TD, 2 INT). The Scarlet Knights' most versatile offensive player, wide receiver Janarion Grant (138 yards rushing, 210 yards receiving, 21 yards passing, 307 yards returning, 6 total TD), is out for the season after suffering an ankle injury against Iowa last week. The defense is led by sophomore free safety Kiy Hester (26 tackles, 4 TFL, 3 passes defensed), a transfer from Miami of Florida. Fifth-year senior defensive tackle Darius Hamilton is a former five-star recruit and a one-time Buckeye target; the three-time team captain has 16 tackles and one TFL so far on the season.
16. The 2016 Ohio State-Rutgers game will be played at The Horseshoe in Columbus during Homecoming Weekend. Kickoff is set for noon with the game being broadcast on the Big Ten Network. Ohio State has been installed as a 37 point favorite.
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