RUTGERS (1-0, 0-0) at No. 20 IOWA (1-0, 0-0)
September 7, 2019 • 12:05 p.m. ET • Fox Sports 1
Kinnick Stadium • Iowa City, Iowa
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers football is set to play in the first Big Ten game of the season with a trip to Kinnick Stadium to face Iowa Saturday. Kickoff is set for noon ET, 11 a.m. local. It will be the fourth time in five years the Scarlet Knights begin league competition on the road.
Watch live on Fox Sports 1 with Justin Kutcher (play-by-play), Petros Papadakis (analyst) and Shane Vereen (analyst) in the booth. Chris Carlin (play-by-play), Ray Lucas (analyst) and Anthony Fucilli (sideline) are set to deliver the action on the Rutgers Sports Network (WCTC 1450-AM, WOR 710-AM, WENJ 97.3-FM, WNJE 920-AM, XM 382). The WRSU 88.7-FM student radio broadcast will have Jake Ostrove and Justin Sontupe on the call.
This game marks a homecoming for head coach Chris Ash, who is from Ottumwa, Iowa. In addition, defensive line coach Corey Brown was a member of the Hawkeyes football team from 1995-99 and wide receivers coach Lester Erb spent 13 seasons on the Iowa staff.
Saturday will be Rutgers’ first trip to Kinnick Stadium. There are two other Big Ten venues the team has not played at: Northwestern (scheduled 2021) and Purdue (2020).
The 2019 season marks the 150th anniversary of the first college football game, which took place between Rutgers and Princeton on Nov. 6, 1869. The historic contest took place on a plot of ground where the present-day Rutgers gymnasium now stands in New Brunswick. RU won that first game, 6-4.
The Scarlet Knights seek to start 2-0 for the first time since 2014 after posting a 48-21 season-opening win over Massachusetts Friday at SHI Stadium. Over the last three quarters, the offense scored 41 points and the defense allowed zero.
Sophomore Isaih Pacheco posted four rushing touchdowns, the most in the nation, to become one of nine players in program history to achieve the feat in a game. He finished with 156 rushing yards with an average of 7.8 per carry for his third career game topping the century mark.
Fifth-year senior McLane Carter passed for 340 yards, the most in a starting debut for a Rutgers quarterback since 1997 and first 300-yard game since 2015. Junior Bo Melton had a career-high 127 receiving yards with his first touchdown, while classmate Raheem Blackshear also caught a score as one of his nine receptions for 126 yards.
Overall, Rutgers is currently ranked third nationally with only two tackles-for-loss allowed, 17th with 15.82 yards per completion, 18th with 48 points, 19th with 554 yards of total offense, and 19th with 348 passing yards. The eight plays gaining at least 20 yards were the most since having nine at Indiana in 2015.
The defense was led by junior Tyshon Fogg registering a game-high 11 tackles in his first collegiate start. Both junior Tre Avery and sophomore Avery Young brought down their first career interception in the victory, as junior Elorm Lumor assisted on a pair of sacks.
Junior Justin Davidovicz converted both field goals attempts to improve to 11-for-13 in his career, including 8-for-8 inside 40 yards.
The Hawkeyes, ranked 20th in the preseason AP poll and 19th in the coaches’ poll, notched a 38-14 home win over Miami (Ohio) to start the season. The offense picked up 465 yards (252 passing, 213 rushing). Senior quarterback Nate Stanley threw three touchdown passes, completing passes to 10 different receivers. Mekhi Sargent led the ground game with 91 rushing yards. Defensively, Iowa permitted 11 first downs and 245 yards, with Michael Ojemudia collecting an interception.
Kirk Ferentz is the longest tenured head football coach in the nation, now in his 21st season at Iowa.
Iowa won the only other meeting between the programs in 2016 in Piscataway. Rutgers had more total offense, 383-355, but the Hawkeyes posted a go-ahead touchdown with 8:35 left in the game to win, 14-7. RU scored on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Chris Laviano to Andre Patton to cap a 13-play drive. Robert Martin contributed 106 rushing yards on the day. Damon Hayes, Tyreek Maddox-Williams and Kamaal Seymour are the only Scarlet Knights on the current roster that played in that game.
Rutgers will have its earliest open week since 2011 before returning home to face Boston College Sept. 21 at SHI Stadium. It will be the first meeting between the former Big East foes since 2004.