Rutgers Bowl Game Preview

Rutgers Football is finally making an appearance in a bowl game by reaching the six win mark for the first time since 2014. The Scarlet Knights did play in the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest in 2021, but as a 5-7 fill-in team. But thus, now the year 2023, sitting at 6-6, Rutgers is set to take on ACC foe Miami in the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

Opponent Preview/Team Connections:

There are several notable storylines leading into the game, as there are multiple connections from both programs. Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano was the Defensive Coordinator for a National Championship Hurricanes team from 1999-2000 under legendary Head Coach Butch Davis. Miami helped elevate young Schiano into the head coaching job at Rutgers and the rest was history. On the other side, Miami Head Coach Mario Cristobal followed Schiano to be an assistant coach from 2001-2003, splitting time as the Tight Ends and Offensive Line coaches. Miami dominates the all-time series against Rutgers 11-0. The two schools are former Big East conference mates.

Miami this year, although, had a pretty disappointing season based on the expectations. They did finish 7-5, but not with a lot of mistakes throughout the season leading them to where they are today. Tyler Van Dyke, who was Miami’s QB1 until entering the portal, has since committed to Wisconsin. QB2 Emory Williams is currently out for the season with an arm injury. That leaves inexperienced redshirt freshman Jacurri Brown as QB3 to take over the starting duties for the game. Miami has also lost a few key starters to the NFL Draft, including Safeties James Williams and Kamren Kinchens, Offensive Lineman Matt Lee and Javion Cohen, and Defensive Tackle Leonard Taylor III. Wide Receiver Colbie Young, who was third in receiving yards for Miami, also entered the transfer portal.

What This Means for Rutgers:

Rutgers doesn’t nearly have as many draft or transfer losses as Miami does, with Cornerback Max Melton being the only notable player up to this point to call it a career in Piscataway. Rutgers will still be led by Quarterback Gavin Wimsatt and Running Back Kyle Monangai on the offense, and the defense returns virtually everyone, with a few names still yet to make a formal decision. The Scarlet Knights can absolutely win this game, on what might be a very cold afternoon in The Bronx. But they still cannot take the Hurricanes lightly, of course. The game kicks off on Thursday, December 28th at 2:15 PM EST on ESPN.