Before today, it had been almost three full years since Rutgers football last won a Big Ten game. Now, they are 1-0 in conference play.
In Greg Schiano’s first game of his second stint with the Scarlet Knights, Rutgers jumped out to a 14-0 lead over Michigan State and used seven takeaways to seal up a 38-27 win in East Lansing.
It was RU’s first conference victory since beating Maryland on Nov. 4, 2017. The Scarlet Knights entered the game as two-touchdown underdogs, but wound up controlling the game from start to finish.
Throughout the afternoon, as Rutgers continued to hold the Spartans at bay, the reactions poured in from around the college football world. Keep in mind, this was a program that won only three Big Ten games in four seasons under Schiano’s predecessor, Chris Ash.
*checks the Michigan State score* pic.twitter.com/E8InC32Gt6
— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) October 24, 2020
Where should I rank Rutgers in this week's SI Top Ten?
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) October 24, 2020
— Nicole Auerbach 😷 (@NicoleAuerbach) October 24, 2020
Total Rutgers TDs:
Entire 2019 Big Ten season: 6
1st half vs Michigan State: 4 pic.twitter.com/1GS3K4pqk1
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 24, 2020
Looks like Chris Ash’s recruits were better than you thought #Rutgers
— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) October 24, 2020
— Adam Friedman (@RivalsFriedman) October 24, 2020
As a Michigan State fan, this was one football season I was actually OK with skipping. If this is what we look like against Rutgers, this is gonna be a historically bad year. 😖 https://t.co/mRq3ub9MsA
— Tony Briscoe (@_TonyBriscoe) October 24, 2020
The Arkansas v. Rutgers National Championship is going to be incredible.
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) October 24, 2020
Rutgers scored 51 points across 9 Big Ten games last season.
They're currently up 38-20 on Michigan State. pic.twitter.com/P5sm9tyLTg
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 24, 2020
Rutgers was once the laughing stock of the Big Ten.
They're dominating MSU on the road in week 1 😳
Rutgers +12.5 ✅ 🔒 pic.twitter.com/Mjaboo7ARJ
— Pickswise (@Pickswise) October 24, 2020
Now, Michigan State played sloppily and no one is going to say the Scarlet Knights are ready to challenge the upper echelon of the Big Ten. Still, a program that had been stuck in the basement for so long needed to start somewhere.
Today was a good beginning for Schiano 2.0 at RU. But Rutgers will get a stiff test next week at home when it takes on an underrated Indiana team.
That game will be a good indicator of how much the program has grown since Schiano took over.