Rutgers coach Kyle Flood often says first impressions in life matter. Well how is the first Lambert Trophy in the award’s 78-year history for an impression?
Rutgers takes the 2014 Lambert Trophy, the school announced Monday, and adds it to the show room alongside its Quick Lane Bowl championship.
““To bring the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy home to the state of New Jersey is very exciting for the program,” Flood said in a statement. “It is an honor to be named the top team in the East.”
The Lambert Trophy goes annually to the best Northeastern football team, decided annually by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The NJSEA chose Rutgers in 2014 following a historic first year in the Big Ten.
To be eligible for the Lambert Meadowlands Award, a school must be located in the East or play at least half of its schedule against eligible Lambert teams. The territory includes New York, New Jersey, New England and Pennsylvania, while teams in the bordering states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and the District of Columbia qualify if at least half of their schedule features eligible teams or are Eastern College Athletic Conference member institutions. Teams in Eastern-based football conferences, regardless of location, qualify if at least half their schedule is against Lambert eligible teams.
The Scarlet Knights finished 8-5 under Flood in their first Big Ten season. The highlights included a storming of High Point Solutions Stadium after a 26-24 victory over Michigan and the largest comeback in program history at Maryland in the regular-season finale.
The Scarlet Knights capped off 2014 with a 40-21 victory over North Carolina in the Quick Lane Bowl.