I won’t be the first to admit that when it comes to the degenerate side of sports, there will always be that sole team that gives you the tingle of frustration from head to toe. My anguish is solely derived from the Rutgers Scarlet Knight.
You see, my past Saturdays primarily consisted of letting my emotions ride on the shoulders of the ex-Big East representative, but 90 percent of the time I found myself cowering in the fetal position.
While clearing up a blog the past offseason, I decided to jot down some notes on how Rutgers would fare in the Big 10, mainly noting that there was a zero percent chance they could rumble up any sort of chatter in the new conference.
However, both the Scarlet Knights and Maryland carried themselves well while exceeding expectations in their inaugural B1G seasons.
Let’s review Kyle Flood’s 2014 Rutgers squad by the numbers:
2 – The rank of wide receiver Leonte Carroo’s receiving yards in the Big 10 with 1,086, behind only Tony Lippett of Michigan State.
Carroo’s deep-threat at wide receiver created mismatches all over the Big 10 as he manufactured 19.6 yards per catch. Expected to lead the Scarlet Knights’ receiving corp next year, Carroo should be an excellent target.
8 – The number of wins Rutgers mustered when they tallied 25 or more points.
A flawless 8-0 record when the scoreboard flashed at least this number, Flood’s Knights in turn went 0-5 when failing to eclipse 25. Although a new quarterback will lead them in 2015, Rutgers will most likely look to the offensive side of the pigskin to keep pace in conference play.
29 – The amount of attempts thrown by backup quarterbacks in 2014.
With Gary Nova out of the picture for 2015, the Knights will be inexperienced at the gunslinger slot. Rutgers ousted the North Carolina Tar Heels 40-21 in their bowl game, putting a nice cherry on top of a spectacular first season.
As for the Maryland, they also made an immediate impact amidst the Midwest schools. Here are some of their most interesting numbers:
94.7 – The field goal percentage of junior placekicker Brad Craddock.
The Lou Groza award winner will be returning next season, too. His long was from 57 yards and he was nearly automatic in 2014.
5 – The number of road games the Terrapins won last season.
A new environment didn’t stop Maryland in 2014 as five of their seven W’s came away from home. Notable wins at Indiana, Penn State, and the Big House clearly depict the resiliency of the Terps. A regular season campaign of 7-5 for Maryland was a fantastic way to announce themselves in the Big Ten.
Dustin Schutte may not have given the Terps or Knights much love in his season reviews, I’ll happily dish out a golf clap to both Rutgers and Maryland for above-average performances in year one as Big Ten members.