If moral victories counted, there's a pretty good chance Rutgers would be bowl eligible now. That's the problem with college football, though. Only real victories count. Not near- misses. Not stirring efforts. Not even pushing the nation's No. 1-ranked team to the brink of the unthinkable for three quarters. Just winning and losing.
Rutgers battles to the bitter end before losing to Miami
Nate Jones thought he was on his way to giving the Scarlet Knights a 24-8 lead against the No. 1 team in the country, with nothing but the ripped-up Rutgers Stadium field separating him and the Miami end zone. But something was missing. It took him about 70 yards to figure out what. "I was running and I didn't hear a lot of cheering," the Rutgers cornerback said. "I just kind of looked back over my shoulder and I saw the refs, and I thought, 'Oh, God.' But I still went into the end zone just in case."
Rutgers: Jones' TD erased by checkered flag
Bob Mulcahy really couldn't enjoy those fleeting few moments as much as he could have, because there is never enough time for reflection and for celebration. Certainly not in the middle of an afternoon such as this one. But, man, if he could only have hit a "pause" button. Gathered in all his emotions, all his apprehensions, all the feelings swirling around him, and just been able to stop for a couple of minutes. Taken a good look around. He was in his seat upstairs at Rutgers Stadium, just before 3 in the afternoon. The final few seconds of the third quarter were melting away. The scoreboard kept insisting upon the impossible: 45 minutes into the game, Rutgers was leading the No. 1-ranked team in America, Miami, 17-14.
Vaccaro: The final score couldn't spoil Mulcahy's day
The game was billed as No. 1 vs. No. 116, but through three quarters, neither team was playing its role. No. 116 was leading 17-14, and with all the abuse No. 1 has been getting from the media and the fans, you half expected to see it fall to the "other teams receiving votes" category at the bottom of the always-fickle national polls. But No. 1 won the game, 42-17. So this is the big question: Does it matter that No. 1 struggled against No. 116?
Rutgers: Miami coach says Canes stumbled ... but shouldn't fall
Though there were conflicting reports on exactly when Rutgers coach Greg Schiano decided to name true freshman quarterback Ryan Hart the starter against Miami, both said yesterday that the 18-year-old was informed yesterday morning. Hart promptly directed Rutgers on an 80-yard scoring drive to open the game -- going 3-of-3 for 64 yards on the drive -- eventually finishing the game 9-of-23 for 110 yards with two interceptions.
Hart's confidence gets a big boost
The Scarlet Knights had never enjoyed a first half like this under Greg Schiano: They not only led the top-ranked Hurricanes 17-14 at intermission, they outplayed the defending national champs in virtually all facets of the game. Here is a look at the eight best plays:
Rutgers: Eight great plays that almost turned the trick
PISCATAWAY - This was the stuff of which college football miracles are made. A 39-point underdog leading the No. 1-ranked team in the country after three quarters, and playing before a home crowd that finally had something to get excited about and a group of recruits who could lead the downtrodden program out of its long despair. For nearly three hours Saturday, Rutgers was living a dream. The Scarlet Knights had Miami worried, even if the defending national champs wouldn't admit so later. One can only imagine the stunned disbelief at stadiums throughout the country when the third-quarter score of Rutgers 17, Miami 14 was announced.NorthJersey.com - Rutgers
PISCATAWAY - After the losses that weren't supposed to be losses, he was defiant. After the losses that were supposed to be losses - but were somehow interesting - he was bummed. After this loss, as hard as he tried to mask it, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano was almost chipper.
NorthJersey.com - Rutgers
PISCATAWAY -- After three quarters Saturday, visions of pandemonium, of torn-down goal posts and ripped up turf, of tears of jubilation shed in disbelief by both players and coaches began dancing in the heads of 27,222 fans at Rutgers Stadium. Lowly Rutgers, plankton in the food chain of Division I-A college football, was somehow leading leviathan Miami by a field goal going into the fourth quarter. But the second-most meaningless thing in life next to a halftime score is the score at the end of three quarters, and the No. 1 Hurricanes exploded for 28 points in an 11-minute stretch in the fourth quarter for a 42-17 victory.
Rutgers puts scare into No. 1 Miami before losing 42-17 - Courier News
The last time Rutgers came this close to beating a team so highly regarded was at Giants Stadium in 1980, when Bear Bryant's top-ranked Crimson Tide held off Rutgers in a 17-13 Alabama victory.
Rutgers' Progress should be measured in performance, not in victories - Courier News
PISCATAWAY -- Even though Rutgers is still losing, Greg Schiano is starting to see a brighter future for one of the country's most downtrodden programs. Rutgers (1-7, 0-5 Big East) put a scare into one of the nation's best teams for the third time this season, taking a lead into the fourth quarter against No. 1 Miami before falling 42-17.
There's vast improvement, but Rutgers is still losing - Courier News
November 3, 2002 -- PISCATAWAY - Top-ranked Miami's 42-17 win over hapless Rutgers was unimpressive, the kind of lackluster game the Hurricanes hope won't hinder their national title defense.
For the Scarlet Knights, it was the kind of upset bid they hope will spur their flagging program.
NYPOST.COM Sports 'CANES ESCAPE By BRIAN LEWIS
This was supposed to be the game that gave the nation's top-ranked team its swagger back, a pummeling of a Rutgers squad that was ranked last in the nation in just about every statistical category. UM (8-0, 4-0 Big East) did pull off a victory in front of 27,222 at Rutgers Stadium, but the score doesn't give this Rutgers team as much credit as it deserves. The Scarlet Knights, coached by former UM assistant Greg Schiano, led the defending national champions for the first three quarters.
Part of Schiano's confidence could come from former Cardinal Gibbons quarterback Ryan Hart. A freshman making his first start, Hart drove the Knights 80 yards for a touchdown on their first possession, completing all three of his passes for 64 yards. He ended the afternoon completing 9 of 23 passes for 110 yards. Hart, who played all but two possessions, made only two critical mistakes: getting picked off in the second and fourth quarters.
Gibbons grad Hart energizes Rutgers Offense
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Surreal. Bizzare. Outrageous. No single word could adequately describe the University of Miami football team's 42-17 victory over Rutgers on Saturday in front of 27,222 fans. By halftime, when Rutgers led 17-14, the press box was abuzz with ``What if . . .?''
By the end of the third quarter, with Rutgers still up 17-14, there was talk that this might be the biggest upset in college football history.
UM Staggers, stays perfect
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — For a few moments late in the third quarter Saturday, the Miami Hurricanes looked as if they could be victims of the greatest upset in college football history. Rutgers, ranked 116th out of 117 Division I-A teams, led 17-14 after the first 45 minutes. Miami's offense had done little in the third quarter and Hurricanes' quarterback Ken Dorsey went into the team's locker room after injuring his left wrist.
Rutgers puts scare into Number 1 Miami
NorthJersey.com - Rutgers Basketball notes
He is the immigrant in search of hope. An ocean away there is gunfire and missing relatives and a mother and brother who are never more than a heartbeat away from his thoughts. In some ways it is the old/new story of an America that once was and always will be. The fact that most of his teammates do not quite understand what is going on in his native Ivory Coast doesn't bother him, nor should it. They are his new family now, but beyond the mysteries of the full-court press or the routine of body-on-body box-outs, the emotional gap between their roots and his are as far apart as Sinatra and Lawrence Welk.
Izenberg: Lamizana so far away from home
A late recruit who didn't commit to Rutgers until September, Hill hasn't yet received the attention fellow freshmen Cortez Davis and Calvin Wooten have. Unassuming and understated, the 6-foot-8 Hill likes it that way. But if the first few weeks of practice are any indication, his anonymity may soon go to the dogs.
NorthJersey.com - Rutgers
Last week's opponent Syracuse rallied to defeat Central Florida 38-35
ORLANDO, FLORIDA (TICKER) -- Walter Reyes recorded his fourth 100-yard game of the season, rushing for 130 yards and three touchdowns as Syracuse rallied for a 38-35 victory over Central Florida.
Reyes, who carried 27 times, scored on runs of four and five yards in the first 5:10 of the fourth quarter, helping the Orangemen (3-6) erase a 27-24 deficit. he also caught a TD pass in the third period.
Yahoo! Sports: NCAA Football - Syracuse at UCF Game Recap
Next week's opponent Temple lost to West Virginia 46-20
PHILADELPHIA (TICKER) -- Avon Cobourne rushed for two touchdowns and quarterback Rashe Marshall also ran for a score as West Virginia rolled to a 46-20 Big East Conference rout of Temple. After getting upset by their conference rivals at home last season, the Mountaineers (6-3, 3-1 Big East) left little doubt about the result of this one, building a 33-0 halftime lead.
Yahoo! Sports: NCAA Football - West Virginia at Temple Game Recap
In other Big East games - Undefeated teams fall
Boston College defeated Notre Dame14-7 virtually eliminating the Irish from the National Championship picture
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The euphoric Notre Dame players were jumping around in their locker room like they had already won. Returning from the pregame warmups, the blue-clad Irish found their seldom-worn, good-luck green jerseys waiting for them.
Things had gone perfectly for No. 4 Notre Dame so far this season and a first national championship since 1988 seemed in reach. Then, then Irish went out and played a luckless, imperfect game Saturday against Boston College, which once again derailed Notre Dame's title dreams.
Boston College stuns No. 4 Notre Dame - Courier News
Pittsburgh shocked Virginia Tech 28-21
BLACKSBURG, VIRGINIA (TICKER) -- Last year, Pittsburgh embarrassed Virginia Tech. This year, the Panthers spoiled any realistic national title hopes for the third-ranked Hokies. Brandon Miree scored on a 53-yard run with 4:11 remaining as Pittsburgh recorded the biggest win under sixth-year coach Walt Harris and handed the Hokies their first loss of the season, 28-21.
Yahoo! Sports: NCAA Football - Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech Game Recap
Talk about it on the Bulletin Boards:
You know what pisses me off is that if you read about the Miami game in the morning headlines, or hear the score on the radio - it was a blowout. Too bad they couldn't hold the score tighter to be more reflective of the game overall.
Mike Fasano: MikeFasano@comcast.net
Mike and the Big Dog's LLC