Rutgers: Knights (1-4), who lost to Tennessee, 35-14, could have gone into complete meltdown in Knoxville. But Rutgers played aggressively, pulling off an on-sides kick after its first score - 100-yard opening kickoff return by Nathan Jones - and jumping out to a 14-7 lead.
Cornhuskers ground to a halt
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano does not believe in moral victories, but for a team that measures success in terms of improvement and effort, Saturday's 35-14 loss to Tennessee was a significant step forward.
'NO MORAL VICTORIES': Victories are what counts to Rutgers' coach
And there it was. For the first 29:59 of Saturday's contest between Rutgers and Tennessee, everything that Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano has preached about since arriving on the Banks in December of 2000 seemed to come together. As a result, for almost an entire half the Scarlet Knights (1-4, 0-1) did more than just compete with the No.11 Volunteers (3-1, 0-1) in their 35-14 loss; they scared them.
Rutgers packs early punch vs. Vols
There are no moral victories at Rutgers, Greg Schiano said Saturday night.
His young team, derided for weeks and doubted by just about everybody, had one of the nation's most successful programs on the ropes for a good half of football. His Scarlet Knights were competitive for three quarters, and it wasn't until the very end that No.11 Tennessee finally overmatched them.
On Sunday, Schiano didn't change his story. But after watching the game film, the coach who leaves nothing to chance had to admit a real victory - not just a moral one - may have been well out of his control.
Rutgers' best not good enough
Greg Schiano said he will have a more thorough film review of Rutgers' deceptive-looking 35-14 loss at Tennessee done this week, but his first glance at the game tapes yielded "seven or eight plays" he considered difference-makers that went against his team, saying "five were associated with officiating."
There was no rancor in Schiano's voice yesterday as he violated coaching protocol with his public criticism of the officiating, but he made it clear that several key calls that went against the Knights were "improperly made" by the all-SEC crew.
Schiano laments 'improper' officiating
Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano said "seven or eight plays" that went against his team made a difference in Saturday's 35-14 loss at Tennessee. "Five of them were associated with officiating," Schiano said Sunday night in reviewing the game.
While Schiano stopped short of accusing the referees of home cooking, it was undeniable that the Southeastern Conference crew made several questionable calls that went against the Scarlet Knights.
Schiano says officials had major impact on loss at Tennessee
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True or false: More freshmen are playing this season compared to last year among the six conferences in the Bowl Championship Series. True or false: Two freshmen, Ohio State's Maurice Clarett and North Carolina State's T.A. McLendon, rank among the nation's top five in scoring. True or false: No. 1 Miami has played 10 of its 16 freshmen scholarship recipients in its four games.
Fearless freshmen play crucial roles
If Irving Fryar had hair he might have pulled some of it out by now.
Fryar, in his first year as an offensive assistant coach at Holy Cross High School, is slowly learning a what all great athletes eventually learn when their careers are over and they turn to coaching.
Lesson No. 1: You have to be patient.
Lesson No. 2: You can't expect every player to do the things you used to do.
In Review: Coach Fryar learning patience
Dog" Forbes: BigDog@Rutgersfootball.com
Mike and the Big Dog LLC