We are less than 24 hours away from Rutgers taking the field at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida for the 77th Annual Gator Bowl. It’s amazing how RU got here considering just a month ago when Rutgers lost their regular season finale to Maryland 40-16 at SHI Stadium, it looked like the 2021 season was over at 5-7.
In a time where we all should be used to “unusual circumstances,” Rutgers stamped its ticket to the Gator Bowl because Texas A&M (10-3) had to bow out of this contest due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Combine that with Rutgers outstanding Academic Progress Rate, the Scarlett Knights leapfrogged over five other teams for this spot. Now they get to prove their metal against one of the best teams in the Country, Wake Forest.
The Demon Deacons are no pushover. They were 10th in the Nation in total offense (469 yards per game), and they trail only Alabama, Ohio State, Western Kentucky, and Pittsburgh in points per game, (42.2).
Give a lot of credit to Head Coach Greg Schiano and his crew. They got the Scarlet Knights ready to play in a short week. They had to bring players back to campus, get them tested for COVID, put in a months work of preparation into a single week for a difficult opponent, and fly down to Florida during a holiday week where flights and bowl games are being postponed all over the place due to the prevalence of the Omicron variant.
Bowl Practice #1 ✔️ pic.twitter.com/rrFOurZdgf— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) December 29, 2021
Now Rutgers is set for the biggest game of their season. A game that will almost certainly be an incredible challenge, but one that Coach Schiano believes his young football team can handle as a huge stepping stone in their development.
Remember to catch all of the action of Rutgers-Wake Forest on your radio dial 93.5 FM, 1450 AM FOX Sports New Jersey, Friday beginning at 9:30 a.m. with Rutgers GameDay, followed by the Rutgers pregame show at 10 a.m. and kick-off between Rutgers and Wake Forest at 11 a.m.