Rutgers Loses Big Ten Football Opener

Rutgers College Football

Rutgers Loses Big Ten Football Opener

The game was announced as Rutgers-Penn State, but in reality it was Gary Nova versus Christian Hackenberg and Hackenberg took the honors. The Penn State star sophomore signal caller was 25-44 for 309 yards and engineered a drive which culminated with three minutes remaining for a 13-10 win in Piscataway. It was Rutgers' first Big Ten game.

Nova, an up and down quarterback, threw five interceptions and no touchdowns. He did run one in for a score in the second quarter, leading Rutgers to a 10-0 halftime lead before a frenzied crowd of 53,774, the largest ever at High Points Solution Stadium.

Rutgers had been pointing to this game ever since it was announced as the first Rutgers Big Ten game in early summer by the league office. The loss was a bitter one for head coach Kyle Flood to swallow, as he showed a great deal of emotion at his post-game press conference.

Rutgers has a star running back in Paul James, but he inexplicably carried the ball only a few times in the second half. For the game, he had 14 carries for only 51 yards. Penn State was equally inept on the ground, largely as a result of a very stout Rutgers defense.

Rutgers has found a way to lose program defining games over the years. West Virginia in 2006 and Louisville in 2011 are prime examples. With the loss, Rutgers falls to 2-23 all-time against Penn State.