Piscataway, N.J. —Rutgers opened BIG10 play tonight against Iowa at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, NJ.
If the Scarlet Knights had won, they would be of been 4-0 for the first time since 2012. That feat only been achieved 12 times previously in their history.
Iowa is 7-3 in its last 10 league openers and 12-11 all-time under head coach Kirk Ferentz. The Hawkeyes also opened their conference play in Piscataway in 2016, they walked away with a 14-7 victory.
Last night in front of an announced crowd of 53, 117, Iowa (3-1, 1-0) defeated Rutgers (3-1, 0-1), 27-10 at SHI Stadium.
The Hawkeyes have won eight of its last 11 Big Ten openers. Iowa is now 3-0 all-time against the Scarlet Knights.
After starting the game with 12-play, 66-yard drive that ended in a 28-yard field goal, Rutgers offense stalled in the first half with five consecutive drives which lasted six plays and totaled 23 yards.
RU turned the ball over three times, including two back-breaking miscues in the first half that all but sealed the game.
“We’re just not quite ready to (perform) in that environment, as when you’re ready, you do it,” Greg Schiano said after his Scarlet Knights fell to the Hawkeyes. “We just weren’t able to quite execute every job to the point where we put it together.”
Rutgers quarterback Evan Simon with pressure in his face, threw a pass that Hawkeyes linebacker Cooper DeJean picked off and returned 45 yards for a score. The 45-yard touchdown return was the 30th longest in school history and the 50th pick six in school history.
The Scarlet Knights defense played lights out, they sacked Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras three times and forced six punts from Tory Taylor.
With 11:15 on the clock in the fourth, Evan Simon marched the Scarlet Knights on a 5-play, 63-yard drive that ended with a 18-yard touchdown reception by Aron Cruickshank.
Simon finished the game with 300 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions on 28-of-49 passing but he few drops by his receiving crew that killed drives.
If Simon want to remain in the lineup he has to do better with his accuracy. He improved as the game went on in the second half.
“Losing is never okay, especially in a program like this,” Simon said. “We set the standard really high and it’s unacceptable.”
The Scarlet Knights allowed just one offensive touchdown and outgained Iowa, 361-277, in the loss.