Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, December 25, 2015
The 2015 campaign was filled with tumult for Rutgers. In August, it was revealed that Kyle Flood had improper contact with a professor concerning the course work of a player. He subsequently was suspended for three games after an investigation. Flood also came under fire after several players ran afoul of the law. In all, six players were dismissed from the team after a string of arrests. Even star WR Leontee Carroo missed time after an arrest.
On the field, RU was done in by spotty quarterback play, an offensive line that lacked consistency and a defense that ranked No. 12 in the Big Ten in scoring (34.9 ppg) and No. 13 overall (462.0 ppg). Add it all up, and you have the makings of a disastrous season that ultimately cost Flood and A.D. Julie Hermann their jobs a season after RU debuted in the Big Ten by making a bowl game.
The school has turned to Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash to turn around the program.
Record: 4-8 overall; 1-7 Big Ten/T6th East
High point: When you win just four games-one in the Big Ten-there aren?t many. But the 55-52 triumph at Indiana was one for the time vault. Rutgers trailed by 25 points–52-27–with 5:25 left in the third quarter. But the Scarlet Knight rallied for victory, as Kyle Federico booted a 26-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. For the second time in 11 months, Rutgers rallied from 25 points down. The Scarlet Knights matched a school record for a comeback that was set during a 41-38 victory at Maryland last November. Indiana and Rutgers combined for 1,223 yards of offense, 15 touchdowns and 43 plays of 10 or more yards. The 107 combined points were No. 2 all-time at IU?s Memorial Stadium.
Low point: Rutgers was on the other end of an epic rally in a 46-41 loss in the finale to a Maryland squad that arrived in Piscataway, New Jersey, riding an eight-game losing streak. The Terps trailed, 31-10, late in the second quarter but pulled out the game on an 80-yard TD run by Brandon Ross with 4:40 to go. Maryland finished with 401 yards rushing and had 656 yards of offense, the first time it has passed the 600-yard mark since 2004. It was a gut-punch for Rutgers in a season filled with gut punches.
Offensive MVP: WR Leonte Carroo. The senior wasn?t first-, second- or third-team All-Big Ten by the coaches. And he was just third-team by the media. Missing four games impacted his numbers. Still, in all honestly, Carroo probably is the best wideout in the Big Ten. He finished with 39 catches for 809 yards (20.7 ypc) with 10 TDs.
Defensive MVP: LB Steve Longa. A third-team All-Big Ten selection by the media, Longa finished second in the Big Ten in tackles (10.6 pg). The junior showed range and quickness, making stops from sideline to sideline. Longa was relentless.
Email Tom Dienhart using the form below.
And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.