September 21, 2019 • Noon ET • Big Ten Network
SHI Stadium • Piscataway, N.J.
PISCATAWAY, N.J.– After its earliest bye week on the calendar since 2011, Rutgers football returns home to host Boston College Saturday in the first meeting between the former Big East foes since 2004. Kickoff from SHI Stadium is set for noon ET.
Big Ten Network will broadcast the contest with Joe Beninati (play-by-play) and Shaun O’Hara (analyst) on the call. With BTN carrying multiple games in the time slot, click here for the out-of-market channel finder. Chris Carlin (play-by-play), Ray Lucas (analyst), Eric LeGrand (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, Sirius 113, XM 196). The WRSU 88.7-FM student radio broadcast will have Justin Sontupe, Raj Shah and Jake Schmied.
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.
As part of the year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary, this week will feature a salute to Paul Robeson, the third African-American to enter Rutgers and the first to play football. He was a two-time All-America selection and inducted into the Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988 and College Football Hall of Fame in 1995. Rutgers will highlight Robeson’s legacy with content on social media and in-venue on game day. In addition, a special halftime show planned by the Rutgers Marching Band will include a choir as a tribute. A true renaissance man, Robeson won 12 letters in four sports – four in football, three each in basketball and baseball and two in track. He became an accomplished actor, singer and lecturer and was commemorated on a U.S. postal stamp.
Rutgers is set to host the RU Brewfest, an outdoor beer tasting at “The Birthplace,” prior to the game. The event will have over 30 different craft and local brews, along with live entertainment from the B-Street Band. Tickets for the Brewfest are $50 and include a ticket to see Rutgers take on Boston College. Season ticket holders can add a Brewfest pass for just $25. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run until 11:30 a.m.
All youth fans are invited to enjoy the Kids Day festivities by visiting the Kids Zone located in the Block R Party. Special features for this game will include a face painter, a balloon artist and inflatables. Fans that purchased their Kids Day tickets and need to pick up their shirts can do so outside of the North Gate at the marketing table.
The Scarlet Knights are 18-7 in home non-conference games (played in Piscataway) this decade, including 5-3 under head coach Chris Ash. That included a 48-21 victory over Massachusetts on Aug. 30 to open the season. RU is coming off a 30-0 loss at now-No. 18 Iowa in its Big Ten opener.
Junior Adam Korsak was named the Ray Guy Award Punter of the Week on Sept. 10 after averaging 47.6 yards on 10 attempts versus the Hawkeyes, finishing with a net of 46.5. The Australian had seven punts downed inside the 20, five inside the 10 and four inside the 5. That included a season-long 69-yarder, tied for the seventh-longest in program history, that settled at the 1. Rutgers currently sits ninth nationally with a net punt mark of 45.36 so far after posting a program-best 40.1 number in the category last year.
Offensively, sophomore Isaih Pacheco ranks third in the Big Ten and 31st nationally with 96 rushing yards per game. He had four rushing scores in the season opener. Junior Raheem Blackshear paces all running backs in the country with 62.5 receiving yards per game, as classmate Bo Melton owns 144 receiving yards overall with an average of 20.57 yards per reception.
Fifth-year senior McLane Carter started the first two games at quarterback, throwing for 340 yards versus Massachusetts. Sophomore Artur Sitkowski made his season debut in the second half at Iowa. He had three games with 200 or more passing yards as a true freshman.
RU is first in the national ranking with only two tackles-for-loss permitted per game so far. The defense has totaled 12 stops in the backfield. Fifth-year senior Willington Previlon had a pair of tackles-for-loss at Iowa, while both junior Tyshon Fogg and sophomore Drew Singleton paced the team with seven tackles overall last time out. In the secondary, both junior Tre Avery and sophomore Avery Young own an interception, with senior Damon Hayes recording 24 career passes defended.
Junior Justin Davidovicz converted both field goal attempts this year to improve to 11-for-13 in his career, including 8-for-8 inside 40 yards.
SCOUTING BOSTON COLLEGE
The Eagles are set for their first road game of the season after starting with three home contests. After defeating Virginia Tech and Richmond, the team fell to Kansas last Friday. Quarterback Anthony Brown is 41-for-76 passing for 633 yards and six touchdowns in 2019, while AJ Dillon has rushed for four scores on 318 yards in the run game. The Boston College defense ranks ninth nationally with nine tackles-for-loss per game, led by three by TJ Rayam, and owns six interceptions.
Steve Addazio is in his seventh season leading the program.
Rutgers and Boston College were both original members of the Big East Football Conference and met in the inaugural league game on Aug. 31, 1991 at Rutgers Stadium. The contest was won by the Scarlet Knights, 20-13. Overall, the Eagles lead the all-time series, 19-6-1. The first meeting between the programs was a 13-7 victory for Rutgers at Boston College in 1919. There were 11 other non-conference matchups before 14 Big East games between 1991 and 2004.
Saturday marks the first of four scheduled games against Boston College. The return meeting in Chestnut Hill will be Sept. 3, 2022, while another home-and-home will take place in 2026 (at BC) and 2027 (at RU).
Rutgers resumes Big Ten play with a trip to Ann Arbor to face No. 11 Michigan on Sept. 28. Kickoff is set for noon ET on Big Ten Network.