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Maryland, Rutgers set up “Big Ten Battle in the Bronx”

Abby Drey/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

The Big Ten’s newest members are teaming up for a unique event inside a recognizable and prominent athletic venue. Maryland and Rutgers will stage a football-wrestling doubleheader on Nov. 4, 2017 in Yankee Stadium.

The wrestling match, the first ever taking place in the stadium, will kick off the event. Football will follow. It’s being dubbed “Big Ten Battle in the Bronx.”

“The Scarlet Knight fan base is passionate about both its football and wrestling programs and the opportunity to play at Yankee Stadium offers a unique platform,” Rutgers Coach Chris Ash said to the school’s website.

Maryland football coach D.J. Durkin felt the same way as his counterpart.

He told umterps.com:

“We’re thrilled to have the chance for both our football and wrestling programs to compete in such an iconic sporting venue. Playing in Yankee Stadium will be something that excites our players, staff and fan base. It’s truly a unique opportunity and we’re looking forward to it.”

Maryland last played in a Major League Baseball stadium during 2007 when it faced Oregon State in San Francisco. While the Terrapins never played in Yankee Stadium, they defeated Syracuse, 20-0, at the Polo Grounds, then home to the New York Giants, in 1936.

Maryland holds a 6-5 edge in meetings with the Scarlet Knights, a series that started in 1920. The teams have split their first two Big Ten matchups and are scheduled to face off in this season’s regular-season finale on Nov. 26 in College Park.

Rutgers is 2-1 in three football games at the current Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009, including two appearances in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. The Scarlet Knights have played 12 games at (both versions of) Yankee Stadium dating back to 1926 and 50 contests in venues that also serve as homes to MLB clubs.

The Rutgers wrestling program experienced it’s best season in program history this past winter. It finished 15th at the NCAA meet with two athletes earning all-American status.

“It is an incredible opportunity for our program to compete inside Yankee Stadium,” Rutgers head wrestling coach Scott Goodale told scarletknights.com. “We are absolutely honored to wrestle inside one of the greatest cathedrals in all of sport. I don’t think we ever envisioned this when we started here 10 years ago. This is significant not only for the Rutgers and Maryland programs, but for the sport of wrestling.”

Maryland’s wrestling program has captured two national titles and 26 conference championships, three of them coming under current head coach Kerry McCoy. The Terrapins competed in their 76th season in 2015.

“This is will be a special experience for our football and wrestling programs at Maryland,” McCoy said.

“It’s exciting to be a part of an event at the home of a franchise as historic as the Yankees, and I know our guys are looking forward to it. As a New York native, this definitely holds special value with me and will be a unique opportunity to showcase and grow our sport.”

Iowa staged a football-wrestling doubleheader at Kinnick Stadium last Nov. 14. The Hawkeyes took on two different opponents, however, with the grapplers facing Oklahoma State and the football team playing Minnesota.

Iowa set a record for attendance at a collegiate wrestling meet when 42,287 fans showed up at Kinnick.

Yankee Stadium holds 54,251, but it’s hard to say what the configuration will be for the Rutgers-Maryland wrestling meet.

Maryland, Rutgers set up “Big Ten Battle in the Bronx”

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