Why is Rutgers starting to feel the pressure of being ranked?
- by admin
RUTGERS, N.J. — The raucous cheers and the chants of “Mitch!” and “Coach!” have been part of Rutgers football fans’ lives for the past decade, and it hasn’t stopped for long.
It’s why the Scarlet Knights are coming off of an 8-4 season that saw them win their first Big Ten championship since 2002.
They also are looking to bounce back from a 9-7 campaign, the worst since 1993, which came in the midst of a major NCAA investigation into the team’s handling of sexual abuse allegations.
But the biggest change for Rutgers fans this season could come down to one player.
After the team finished with the third-fewest wins in school history last year, the team decided to go back to the drawing board.
And that player?
Coach Kyle Flood.
Flood took the reins after losing the starting job to Kevin Wilson, and his new players have been working tirelessly to improve their game.
They have been doing things to improve.
The team has signed four free agents to the practice squad and has signed two more to the NFL roster.
“It was a lot of hard work,” head coach Kyle Flood said.
“It was just like every team is, when they get the new coach, they have to work hard.
And we did a lot.”
It’s the second time Flood has been able to bring back the winning culture.
Flood brought back the team in 2013, when the Scarlet Knight won the Big Ten and went to the College Football Playoff.
Flood said he knew the team would have to change if the league expanded to 16 teams.
He said he thought the current team needed to do a lot more than just play better football.
“The whole concept of ‘We have to play better than this team, we have to compete with everybody,’ I thought that was the most important part,” Flood said, “but we also had to improve our defense, we had to compete more than ever before.
I don’t know if there was ever a better defense in the country, so I thought the offense was the key to that.”
But Flood said it’s a different situation this time around.
It will be more of the same for the Scarlet Riders, and this time, Flood will have to do it himself.
RUTGERS, N.J. — The raucous cheers and the chants of “Mitch!” and “Coach!” have been part of Rutgers football fans’…