Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Chris Ash leads his team onto the field before the first half at High Points Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Chris Ash leads his team onto the field before the first half at High Points Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

Midway through coach Chris Ash's first season, Rutgers is exactly where most prognosticators thought they would be.

The Scarlet Knights (2-4, 0-3) are struggling.

"You guys (the media) are the experts, and in listening to the experts after the first six games, I bet each one of you in this room would have probably put us at 2-4," Ash said. "Probably not with the types of losses that we had in the last two games."

The issue for Ash is the way Rutgers has lost. Aside from a 14-7 loss to Iowa - where Rutgers lost top playmaker Janarion Grant - the Scarlet Knights have been blown out by three Top 5 teams by a combined score of 184-13. After a 48-13 loss to open the season at No. 5 Washington, Rutgers was shut out at No. 3 Ohio State two weeks ago, and this past week at home against No. 4 Michigan.

The past two weeks, the first without Grant, the Scarlet Knights' offense was barely able to move the football. Rutgers completed five passes in the last two games. It took until late in the second half to gain a first down against Michigan in a 78-0 loss.

Quarterback Chris Laviano was pulled in both games. Against Ohio State, freshman Tylin Oden saw action in the second half. TCU transfer Zach Allen played the second half against Michigan. >> Read more 

Tags: Rutgers University

Jan 17, 2018; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders (3) dunks against Iowa Hawkeyes forward Luka Garza (55) during second half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 17, 2018; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders (3) dunks against Iowa Hawkeyes forward Luka Garza (55) during second half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Corey Sanders had 18 points and eight assists and two steals and Geo Baker had 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals, to lead Rutgers past Iowa 80-64 on Wednesday night.

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GEICO SportsNite: Rutgers 00:00:30
Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell discusses his team's woes on the offensive end as Ohio State coasted to a 22-point win in Piscataway.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders controls the ball as Ohio State Buckeyes forward Kaleb Wesson defends during first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders controls the ball as Ohio State Buckeyes forward Kaleb Wesson defends during first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Keita Bates-Diop scored 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and Ohio State beat Rutgers 68-46 to remain undefeated in Big Ten play this season and tied atop the conference standings.

Ohio State (15-4, 6-0) built up a 30-point lead after Kam Williams converted on a 4-point play with 13:47 remaining to make it 48-18.

Kaleb Wesson had 10 points and nine rebounds and Williams finished with 11 points for Ohio State

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Jan 10, 2018; East Lansing, MI, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders (3) brings the ball up court during the first half of a game against the Michigan State Spartans at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports (Mike Carter)
Jan 10, 2018; East Lansing, MI, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders (3) brings the ball up court during the first half of a game against the Michigan State Spartans at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports (Mike Carter)

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Miles Bridges ended his scoreless start with 7:43 left in regulation and finished with just 11 points to barely help No. 4 Michigan State bounce back from a loss with a 76-72 overtime victory over Rutgers on Wednesday night.

The Spartans (16-2, 4-1 Big Ten) were coming off a lopsided loss at Ohio State and the setback seemed to have lingering effects for the team and their sophomore star. >> Read more.

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Jan 5, 2018; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Steve Pikiell reacts during first half play against Wisconsin Badgers at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jan 5, 2018; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Steve Pikiell reacts during first half play against Wisconsin Badgers at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Rutgers and men's basketball coach Steve Pikiell have agreed to a three-year contract extension, university athletic director Patrick Hobbs announced Wednesday.

Pikiell will be guaranteed $15.05 million over the next five seasons, plus performance bonuses, which runs through 2023-2024.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Corey Sanders scored 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting to give Rutgers a much-needed win over Wisconsin, 64-60, Friday night.

Sanders scored with 1:47 left then added a 3-pointer with under a minute to go for a 58-53 lead.

Brad Davison hit Wisconsin's first 3-pointer of the game to tie it at 53 and cap a 7-0 run. >> Read more

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Jan 3, 2018; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers guard Carsen Edwards (3) battles for a loose ball with Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Geo Baker (0) and forward Deshawn Freeman (33) in the first half at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports (Sandra Dukes)
Jan 3, 2018; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers guard Carsen Edwards (3) battles for a loose ball with Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Geo Baker (0) and forward Deshawn Freeman (33) in the first half at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports (Sandra Dukes)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Isaac Haas scored 14 points and Dakota Mathias finished with 13 on Wednesday night to help No. 13 Purdue pull away from Rutgers 82-51.

The Boilermakers (14-2, 3-0 Big Ten) have won 10 straight overall and 17 consecutive home games.

Geo Baker had 11 points to lead the Scarlet Knights (10-6, 0-3), who have lost three straight. Mike Williams added 10. >> Read more

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Feb 11, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders (3) handles the ball against Minnesota Golden Gophers during first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Feb 11, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders (3) handles the ball against Minnesota Golden Gophers during first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) John Carroll scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Hassan Attia scored 11 points to go with another nine rebounds as Hartford pulled off its first win at Rutgers, nipping the Scarlet Knights 60-58 on Thursday night.

Rutgers needed a late 20-5 run to recover from a 13-point deficit late and hold off Hartford last season.

J.R. Lynch and Jason Dunne each had 14 points and combined to hit six 3s for the Hawks.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

 

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Jakub Petras hit a jumper from the right elbow with .02 seconds left in overtime to give Stony Brook the upset over Rutgers 75-73 on Friday night.

The Seawolves (5-8) were led by Akwasi Yeboah's 21 points and Jaron Cornish had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights (10-3) play host to the Stony Brook Seawolves (4-8) on Friday night at the RAC at 7 p.m. 

The Scarlet Knights will be relying on guards Corey Sanders and Geo Baker tonight. Sanders had a team-high 22 points in the team's win against Seton Hall, while Baker notched 17 points. These two guards can get things rolling for Rutgers, and if they do, it will be hard for Stony Brook to match their athleticism throughout the contest. 

It will also be a big game for Rutgers' head coach Steve Pikiell, who was the coach of Stony Brook since 2005 before taking his current job last season. Looking specifically at this matchup, the Seawolves force many turnovers with each of their starting five averaging at least a steal per game. He thinks his team is ready to limit their errors. 

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Nov 28, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Steve Pikiell talks with his players during a second half time out against the Florida State Seminoles at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 28, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Steve Pikiell talks with his players during a second half time out against the Florida State Seminoles at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Corey Sanders scored eight of his season-high 22 points in a game-ending 17-2 run Saturday, leading Rutgers to its biggest victory since Steve Pikiell became coach last year - a 71-65 win over No. 15 Seton Hall.

Freshman Geo Baker added 17 and Deshawn Freeman added 12 and 16 rebounds as the Scarlet Knights (10-3) beat a ranked team for the first time since defeating No. 4 Wisconsin in January 2015.

Myles Powell had 18 points to lead the Pirates (9-2), who had a five-game winning streak snapped in losing to Rutgers for the first time in five games.

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Fans stand for the national anthem before the start of Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Northwestern Wildcats men's basketball game at Louis Brown Athletic Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
Fans stand for the national anthem before the start of Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Northwestern Wildcats men's basketball game at Louis Brown Athletic Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- New Jersey's most intense rivalry is renewed when No. 15 Seton Hall visits Rutgers on Saturday in the "Garden State Hardwood Classic."

A sell-out crowd of 8,000 is expected at the Rutgers Athletic Center in the 69th meeting between the schools. The series started in 1916 with Seton Hall holding a 39-29 edge.

The Pirates (9-1) have won four straight over Rutgers (9-3) by an average margin of 18.8 points. But, going further back, 18 of the last 22 meetings have been decided by six points or less, or in overtime.

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Dec 12, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Issa Thiam (35) drives to the basket against Fordham Rams forward David Pekarek (33) and Fordham Rams guard Joseph Chartouny (12) during second half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 12, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Issa Thiam (35) drives to the basket against Fordham Rams forward David Pekarek (33) and Fordham Rams guard Joseph Chartouny (12) during second half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Deshawn Freeman had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Corey Sanders added 12 points and Rutgers beat Fordham 75-63 on Tuesday night.

Tags: Rutgers University
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Fans stand for the national anthem before the start of Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Northwestern Wildcats men's basketball game at Louis Brown Athletic Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
Fans stand for the national anthem before the start of Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Northwestern Wildcats men's basketball game at Louis Brown Athletic Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Freshman Geo Baker had his first career double-double with 19 points and 11 assists, while fellow backcourt mates Corey Sanders had 19 points and Mike Williams had 17 points to lead Rutgers past Fairleigh Dickinson 92-54 Saturday night.

The trio was efficient from the floor as Baker went 7 of 11 from the field and 4 of 5 from the free-throw line, Sanders went 8 of 14 shooting and Williams was 5 of 7 from the field and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line.

FDU took a 6-3 lead at 17:59 when Darnell Edge hit a 3-pointer off a pass from Darian Anderson. That's as long as it would be a competitive game.

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Nov 28, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Eugene Omoruyi (11) goes to the basket against Florida State Seminoles forward Mfiondu Kabengele (25) during first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 28, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Eugene Omoruyi (11) goes to the basket against Florida State Seminoles forward Mfiondu Kabengele (25) during first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Corey Sanders scored 18 points and Deshawn Freeman had 13 to lead Rutgers past NJIT 73-64 on Thursday night.

Tags: Rutgers University
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Dec 5, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard Joshua Langford (1) shoots over Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Geo Baker (0) forward Deshawn Freeman (33) and forward Mamadou Doucoure (21) during second half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 5, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard Joshua Langford (1) shoots over Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Geo Baker (0) forward Deshawn Freeman (33) and forward Mamadou Doucoure (21) during second half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Miles Bridges scored 21 points and No. 3 Michigan State overcame its worst offensive performance of the season with a 62-52 victory over surprising Rutgers on Tuesday night.

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Nov 28, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders (3) dribbles the ball against the Florida State Seminoles during the second half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 28, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders (3) dribbles the ball against the Florida State Seminoles during the second half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

ISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said the "schedule gods blessed us" by having his Scarlet Knights open Big Ten play by facing two ranked teams in three days.

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Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Mamadou Doucoure fouls Florida State Seminoles center Ike Obiagu during the first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Mamadou Doucoure fouls Florida State Seminoles center Ike Obiagu during the first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Nate Mason scored a season-high 26 points, Jordan Murphy had his ninth straight double-double to start the season and No. 12 Minnesota beat Rutgers 89-67 on Sunday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

Murphy finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds to extend the nation's longest double-double streak. He came into the game leading the country in rebounding at 12.5 per game.

Reggie Lynch added 16 points, nine rebounds and five blocks for the Gophers (8-1), and Amir Coffey had 11 points and seven assists. Minnesota was coming off a five-point loss to No. 10 Miami on Wednesday night.

Freshman forward Mamadou Doucoure had 13 points and nine rebounds for Rutgers (6-2) and freshman guard Geo Baker had 12 points. Corey Sanders had 10 points, and Deshawn Freeman added 10 points and 12 rebounds.

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Nov 28, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Steve Pikiell talks with his players during a second half time out against the Florida State Seminoles at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 28, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Steve Pikiell talks with his players during a second half time out against the Florida State Seminoles at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

MINNEAPOLIS -- As Minnesota and Rutgers open their conference season on Sunday evening at Williams Arena, they each have to be happy, at minimum, that the Big Ten/ACC challenge is over.

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Nov 28, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Eugene Omoruyi (11) goes to the basket against Florida State Seminoles forward Mfiondu Kabengele (25) during first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 28, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights forward Eugene Omoruyi (11) goes to the basket against Florida State Seminoles forward Mfiondu Kabengele (25) during first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) CJ Walker scored 24 points and Phil Cofer added 19 to lead unbeaten Florida State past Rutgers 78-73 on Tuesday night.

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Loud Mouths: We have an expert 00:06:43
One of the original Loud Mouths, Chris Carlin, joins the guys to discuss the controversy at Tennessee no longer pursuing Greg Schiano.

 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

Ohio State head coach, Urban Meyer, defended his defensive coordinator, Greg Schiano, after he had a falling out for the University of Tennessee's head coaching position. 

Schiano was set to become Tennessee's new head coach, and the announcement was to be made on Sunday. However, Tennessee backed out of the deal after a wave of backlash on social media from fans. The anger stemmed from a 2015 sworn testimony that stated Schiano had knowledge of Jerry Sandusky's allegations while he was a graduate assistant at Penn State Univeristy from 1990-95. 

Though the allegation is just hearsay, it still prompted Tennessee fans to protest the singing. However, Meyer backed up his coach saying he is more than worthy of the position. 

Tags: Rutgers University
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 (Mike Granse)
(Mike Granse)

Rutgers football head coach Chris Ash signed a five-year contract through 2022 to continue coaching the Scarlet Knights. 

Ash, who took over the head coaching position in Dec. 2015, signed an initial Memorandum of Agreement which was good for five years, $11 million.

The Scarlet Knights just finished their season 4-8 after a blowout to Michigan State, 40-7, at High Point Solutions Stadium. It was an improvement from Ash's 2-10 inaugural season, but the 43-year-old will continue to try and improve next season. 

Tags: Rutgers University
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Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator Greg Schiano before the game against the Army Black Knights at Ohio Stadium. (Joseph Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports)
Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator Greg Schiano before the game against the Army Black Knights at Ohio Stadium. (Joseph Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports)

The University of Tennessee is reportedly backing out of a deal with former Rutgers head coach and current Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano amid fan backlash, according to Yahoo! Sports' Pete Thamel.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer confirmed to ESPN that Tennessee contacted Schiano, and USA TODAY Sports first reported that the two sides were nearing a deal that would have made Schiano the next Volunteers head coach.

Tags: Rutgers University
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Nov 25, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Felton Davis III (18) runs after a catch against Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Damon Hayes (22) during second half at High Point Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 25, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Felton Davis III (18) runs after a catch against Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Damon Hayes (22) during second half at High Point Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Brian Lewerke threw for a touchdown and ran for another and No. 21 Michigan State held the ball for more than 47 minutes in defeating Rutgers 40-7 on Saturday to cap a terrific turnaround season.

Tags: Rutgers University
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The Rutgers Scarlet Knight rides past the stadium before the start of the NCAA football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Maryland Terrapins at High Points Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
The Rutgers Scarlet Knight rides past the stadium before the start of the NCAA football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Maryland Terrapins at High Points Solutions Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- In the words of head coach Mark Dantonio, No. 16 Michigan State has a chance to "flip it" when it meets Rutgers in the regular-season finale for both teams on Saturday at High Point Solutions Stadium.

With a win, the Spartans (8-3, 6-2 Big Ten) would mean a record reversal from last season, when Michigan State finished 3-9.

"It's rewarding to flip it," Dantonio said.

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Deshawn Freeman had his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Shaquille Doorson had a career highs in points (eight) and rebounds (nine) to lead Rutgers past East Carolina 61-47 Friday afternoon at the RAC and remain unbeaten.

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Feb 11, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders (3) handles the ball against Minnesota Golden Gophers during first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Feb 11, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders (3) handles the ball against Minnesota Golden Gophers during first half at Louis Brown Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Corey Sanders responded to his coach calling out his poor practice habits with 18 points and five assists and his backcourt mate Geo Baker had a career-high 29 to lead Rutgers past Bryant 83-54 Tuesday night.

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) While the wins keep coming, the shots aren't falling for Rutgers.

Tags: Rutgers University
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Nov 18, 2017; Bloomington, IN, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Johnathan Lewis (11) attempts to run the ball for yardage during the second half of the game at Memorial Stadium. The Indiana Hoosiers defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 41 to 0. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports (Marc Lebryk)
Nov 18, 2017; Bloomington, IN, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Johnathan Lewis (11) attempts to run the ball for yardage during the second half of the game at Memorial Stadium. The Indiana Hoosiers defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 41 to 0. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports (Marc Lebryk)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Richard Lagow threw two touchdown passes Saturday, and Morgan Ellison ran for two more scores as Indiana shut out Rutgers 41-0.

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Rutgers players celebrate with fans after defeating Illinois 35-24 in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Bradley Leeb) (AP)
Rutgers players celebrate with fans after defeating Illinois 35-24 in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Bradley Leeb) (AP)

Indiana and Rutgers understand the stakes of their game Saturday.

The winner needs one more win to go bowling. The loser is probably heading home for the holidays.

It's not something either coach wants to discuss, so they're letting others deal with the chatter while they focus on the more immediate challenge - getting their teams ready to play.

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Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders shoots the ball as Northwestern Wildcats forward Gavin Skelly defends in the second half during the Big Ten Conference Tournament at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Corey Sanders shoots the ball as Northwestern Wildcats forward Gavin Skelly defends in the second half during the Big Ten Conference Tournament at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

Geo Baker had 14 points and seven assists and Issa Thiam scored 14 points, was 4-of-8 from behind the three-point line and knocked down treys on three-straight possessions to lead Rutgers past Cleveland State, 70-38 on Tuesday night.

Rutgers took a nine-point lead into halftime before jumping out to a 20-point lead early in the second half after back-to-back 3s by Thiam to make it 43-23 with 14:41 left. Thiam went on to hit another three on the third straight possession to make it 46-26

From there, Rutgers cruised.

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Mike Williams had 23 points and four steals and Eugene Omoruyi had 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks as much-needed sparks off the bench to lead Rutgers past Central Connecticut State 71-67 on Sunday.

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Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Raheem Blackshear (25) celebrates his touchdown against the Purdue Boilermakers with Rutgers Scarlet Knights tight end Jerome Washington (88) in the 3rd quarter at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Raheem Blackshear (25) celebrates his touchdown against the Purdue Boilermakers with Rutgers Scarlet Knights tight end Jerome Washington (88) in the 3rd quarter at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

Even before No. 14 Penn State lost its last two games, Nittany Lions coach James Franklin believes his team lost its way.

The Lions (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) will try to regain their bearings in time for Saturday's homecoming matchup against resurgent Rutgers (4-5, 3-3).

Penn State followed up a 39-38 loss at Ohio State with a 27-24 defeat last week at Michigan State, and Franklin told reporters afterward that his team was "too finesse" and had allowed "a lot of noise" to become a distraction -- the latter a reference to talk of a berth in the conference championship game and/or College Football Playoff...

Tags: Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University
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Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Chris Ash leads his team onto the field before the first quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. (Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Chris Ash leads his team onto the field before the first quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. (Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Trace McSorley accounted for 258 total yards and three touchdowns as No. 16 Penn State beat Rutgers 35-6 on Saturday.

McSorley became Penn State's all-time touchdown leader with 68, overtaking Daryll Clark's record of 65 with one rushing and two passing scores, and the Nittany Lions scored 35 unanswered points after going down 6-0 in the first quarter.

Saquon Barkley ran for two touchdowns and DaeSean Hamilton and Mike Gesicki each caught one for Penn State (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten). Barkley, a Heisman Trophy candidate, ran for just 35 yards on 14 carries

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) From the opening tip, Rutgers and City College of New York looked like teams from different divisions.

Issa Thiam had 19 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double, Deshawn Freeman scored 16 points, and Rutgers cruised past Division III City College of New York 94-38 on Friday night.

It tied the largest margin of victory in school history, 56, when Rutgers defeated Trenton State 91-35 in 1936. Rutgers used the opportunity to clear its bench, with 13 players checking in, including four walk-ons.

Tags: Rutgers University
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 (Jim O'Connor)
(Jim O'Connor)

The Rutgers men's basketball team open their season against the City College of New York at the RAC on Friday night. 

The visiting CCNY team had a lot happen last season that found them as a Division III team this year. They have been a Division I team, but after a major gambling scandal, the school was forced to make it a Division III team. 

Head coach Steve Pikiell and his team took down St. Johns, 80-78, in an exhibition game. It should be an easy start to the season for Rutgers, so don't expect to see stars Corey Sanders, Deshawn Freeman, and Mike Williams much throughout this one. 

This is the first game of three in the next five days for the Scarlet Knights. They take on Central Connecticut State on Sunday followed by Cleveland State on Tuesday. 

Tags: Rutgers University
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Nov 4, 2017; Piscataway,, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Gioanni Resigno (17) looks to throw a pass against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at High Point Solutions Stadiun. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Nov 4, 2017; Piscataway,, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Gioanni Resigno (17) looks to throw a pass against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at High Point Solutions Stadiun. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Gus Edwards ran for 109 yards and caught a go-ahead 23-yard touchdown pass with 7:30 remaining to rally Rutgers to a 31-24 victory over Maryland on Saturday.

 

Tags: Rutgers University
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GEICO SportsNite: Rutgers 00:01:06
Steve Pikiell and Corey Sanders meet the media to discuss what they expect from the Rutgers men's basketball team this season.

Michigan Wolverines running back Ty Isaac (32) rushes in the first half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Michigan Stadium. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
Michigan Wolverines running back Ty Isaac (32) rushes in the first half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Michigan Stadium. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Brandon Peters helped Michigan score touchdowns on his first three drives, allowing the Wolverines to pull away and beat Rutgers 35-14 Saturday.

Jim Harbaugh finally benched John O'Korn after another shaky performance. Harbaugh put Peters in and the redshirt freshman took full advantage of his first opportunity to play extensively, completing 10 of 14 passes for 124 yards with a TD.

Tags: Rutgers University, University of Michigan
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Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Raheem Blackshear (25) celebrates his touchdown against the Purdue Boilermakers with Rutgers Scarlet Knights tight end Jerome Washington (88) in the 3rd quarter at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Raheem Blackshear (25) celebrates his touchdown against the Purdue Boilermakers with Rutgers Scarlet Knights tight end Jerome Washington (88) in the 3rd quarter at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

Rutgers has won two straight Big Ten games for the first time since entering the conference in 2014. The Scarlet Knights have not won three consecutive conference games since winning five in a row as a Big East program in 2012.

"They're excited and they're eager to keep getting better," Rutgers second-year coach Chris Ash said. "It's a pretty positive mood. They know we're getting better."

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Sep 30, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights fans during first half against Ohio State Buckeyes at High Point Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 30, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights fans during first half against Ohio State Buckeyes at High Point Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Rutgers WR Ahmir Mitchell was dismissed from the team after violating team rules, per NJ.com's Ryan Dunleavy. 

It was not specified what team rule Mitchell broke, but he never got on the field as a Scarlet Knight. 

Mitchell transferred from Michigan in September 2016 after he was suspended from the team. Head coach Chris Ash gave Mitchell a second chance, and even recruited his brother, Damon, from Arkansas to act as a role model for his younger brother.

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GEICO SportsNite: Rutgers 00:01:10
The Rutgers Scarlett Knights defeated the Purdue Boilermakers, 14-12, on Saturday. They honored former Knight Ray Lucas at halftime.

 

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Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back K.J. Gray (17) celebrates his interception with and Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Kiy Hester (2) against Purdue Boilermakers during the 2nd quarter at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back K.J. Gray (17) celebrates his interception with and Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Kiy Hester (2) against Purdue Boilermakers during the 2nd quarter at High Point Solutions Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Gus Edwards scored on a 74-yard run on Rutgers' second offensive play and Gio Rescigno threw a 35-yard touchdown pass in the second half as Rutgers beat Purdue 14-12 Saturday, posting consecutive Big Ten Conference wins for the first time since joining the league in 2014.

Rutgers (3-4, 2-2) forced two turnovers and limited Purdue (3-4, 1-3) to 4 of 19 on third- and fourth-down conversion attempts. The defense also came up with a defensive stop on the 2-point conversion after Anthony Mahoungou made a one-handed catch of a 10-yard touchdown pass by David Blough with 25 seconds to play to cut the lead to two points.

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Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Chris Ash leads his team onto the field before the first quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. (Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Chris Ash leads his team onto the field before the first quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. (Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports)

Rutgers coach Chris Ash has not had as much success as [Jeff] Brohm. He has won 4 of 18 games in his first 1-plus seasons but his team has been more competitive this year. The Scarlet Knights clearly played their best game last weekend, rushing for a season-high 274 yards.

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Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Giovanni Rescigno (17) sets up to pass against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. (Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Giovanni Rescigno (17) sets up to pass against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. (Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports)

Gus Edwards rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns as Rutgers ended a 16-game losing streak in the Big Ten with a 35-24 win over Illinois on Saturday.

The Scarlet Knights (2-4, 1-2) led wire to wire for their first conference victory since 2015 at Indiana.

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Sep 30, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) rushes against Rutgers Scarlet Knights linebacker Trevor Morris (15) during second half at High Point Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 30, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) rushes against Rutgers Scarlet Knights linebacker Trevor Morris (15) during second half at High Point Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) J.T. Barrett threw three touchdown passes and became Ohio State's career passing yardage leader in leading the 11th-ranked Buckeyes to a 56-0 victory over Rutgers on Saturday night.

Mike Weber ran for a career-high three touchdowns and Ohio State (4-1, 2-0 Big Ten) blanked Rutgers (1-4, 0-2) for the second straight year. The Buckeyes have won three straight after being upset by Oklahoma.

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Rutgers Scarlet Knights wide receiver Jawuan Harris (3) rushes with the ball after making a catch in the second half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers won 34-32. (Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights wide receiver Jawuan Harris (3) rushes with the ball after making a catch in the second half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers won 34-32. (Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

Ohio State appeared to sort out some of the issues with its passing game in the blowout win over UNLV last Saturday, and the opportunity should be there for more of the same this week.

The 11th-ranked Buckeyes (3-1, 1-0) return to Big Ten play Saturday night (7 p.m. ET on BTN) at Rutgers (1-3, 0-1) as more than a four-touchdown favorite. Ohio State has won two straight after opening the conference season with a victory at Indiana and then stumbling at home against Oklahoma.

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 (Bruce Thorson)
(Bruce Thorson)

Kiy Hester's third-quarter interception return for a touchdown gave Rutgers a 17-14 lead, but Nebraska stormed back to score 13 unanswered points en route to a 27-17 win on Saturday at Tom Osborne Field at Memorial Stadium. >> Read more 

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