The Rutgers Scarlet Knights were favored to finish dead last in the Big Ten East — including predictions by this very site — during the program’s first season in the conference.
Kyle Flood and his team exceeded expectations with an 8-5 record and a 40-21 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Quick Lane Bowl held in Detroit, Michigan.
With the bowl victory, Rutgers will finish fourth in the Big Ten East with the potential to own the fifth-best overall record in the entire conference.
The narrative was simple earlier this year: Rutgers was only added to the Big Ten Conference because of its footprint in New York City and New Jersey.
It just so happens that its a pretty good football program, too.
The victory over North Carolina also established early bragging rights for the Big Ten over the ACC.
The North Carolina Tar Heels dropped to 6-7 overall during a disappointing season. Larry Fedora‘s squad was a chic pick to be a Top 25 team this season and potentially steal an ACC Coastal Crown. Instead, the program finished third overall in one of the weakest divisions among the Power Five conferences.
After three straight seasons of diminishing win totals, Fedora will likely enter next season on the hot seat.
Rutgers was simply more physical at the point of attack than North Carolina. The Scarlet Knights ran for a whopping 340 yards. Freshman running back Josh Hicks amassed 202 yards on the ground.
North Carolina’s offense was dynamic at times, but the team’s defense simply didn’t show up and that falls directly on the head coach.
Flood, meanwhile, will enjoy the momentum his program built during its first year in the Big Ten both in recruiting and preparation for next season.
They say these things happen in threes, so any program employing Warren Sapp‘s son better start preparing now. Days after Ray Lewis‘s son announced a transfer, Randy Moss‘s has done the same.
Thaddeus Moss announced his intention to leave NC State for LSU on Sunday, doing so in a post on his Twitter account.
Moss was recruited to NC State by then-Wolfpack offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Canada tried to get Moss to decommit and follow him to Pittsburgh, but that initial refusal worked out for the pair in the end.
“He had gotten fired and I had already gotten my mind made up,” Moss told The Advocate. “He had messaged me and was telling me stuff about Pitt and this stuff. It was all of this stuff. I don’t even think I messaged him back.
“That was actually the very first thing he said when he saw me. ‘Hey, you remember when I messaged you?’ It worked out for the better good.”
Ranked the No. 6 tight end in the class of 2016 by Rivals, Moss started three games last fall for NC State. He caught six passes for 49 yards and a touchdown.
As an undergraduate transfer, Moss will have to sit out the 2017 season before having three seasons to compete for the Tigers.
Michigan is in Rome for Spring Break and Jim Harbaugh determined an act of charity would be the Wolverines’ first item of business upon landing on Italian soil.
After landing in Rome at 9 a.m. local time, the Wolverines immediately headed to the Borghese Gardens, where they distributed backpacks filled with blankets, shirts and shorts to refugees.
“What an experience,” quarterback Wilton Speight told the Toledo Blade. “I saw on the itinerary that we were going to have an opportunity to meet some refugees, but I didn’t know it was going to be like this where we could dive into each other’s lives and teach each other a thing or two about our background, our culture, our favorite sport. It’s been a cool experience.”
And for those wondering, Harbaugh has not reduced his Harbaugh-ness while overseas. In fact, the dollar-to-euro conversion may have actually increased it.
Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd will become Baylor wide receiver Jalen Hurd, according to a report from ESPN’s Jake Trotter.
Hurd announced on Halloween he would leave the Vols roster, seeking a change in position as well as scenery. After visits to Ohio State and Louisville, Hurd trekked to Waco for the Bears’ spring game on Saturday, where he indicated on Twitter afterward that he would become a Bear.
Trotter filed afterward, citing a source, that Hurd will indeed become the latest member of the Bears’ wide receiving corps.
Hurd is a physical freak that will excel at whatever position he plays. As a 6-foot-2 running back, he toted the rock 589 times for 2,635 yards with 20 touchdowns in his three seasons as a Vol. Now, as a 240-pound wide receiver (though it’s likely he’ll slim down now that he no longer has to prepare for a season of between-the-tackles running), he’ll display the skills that saw him catch 67 passes for 492 yards and six touchdowns.
As an undergraduate transfer, Hurd will sit out the 2017 season before joining the team in 2018. He will have one season to compete as a Bear.
Georgia offensive line signee D’Antne Demery was arrested Saturday night in Athens for allegedly battering his girlfriend.
In the hours after Georgia’s G-Day spring game, officers were called to an Athens Waffle House where witnesses saw Demery place hands on a woman. Police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, and tracked the victim down at a different establishment.
The Macon Telegraph obtained the police’s account of the incident:
“Upon arrival, both individuals had left the area. Moments later, the victim called 911; advising that she wished to press charges against D’Antne Demery for hitting her. Contact was made with the victim in front of Boars Head (sic). She stated that she and Demery got into an argument; he began to get loud, she started to walk off, he told her ‘walk off again, and Imma show you’. She began to walk away again, at which point, Demery came from behind her; grabbing her on the back of her neck; pushing her against the wall, and also grabbing her by the hair.”
After the first assault, Demery again attacked the victim:
“able to reconnect with the victim, in which he threw her; causing her glasses to fall off, and her phone fell out of her hand; causing it to hit the ground which resulted in a crack to the screen.”
Demery admitted to placing his hands on the woman, and the victim said this wasn’t the first time he had been violent with her. The couple shares a 1-year-old child.
Demery was booked into the Clarke County Jail at 10:52 p.m. Saturday night, where he remains at press time on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and simple battery.
Demery was a consensus 4-star recruit hailing from Brunswick, Ga. Kirby Smart has not offered comment on the arrest as of press time.
2:18 p.m. ET Update: Georgia has cut ties with Demery. The school’s statement:
“University of Georgia football signee D’Antne Demery has been released from his National Letter of Intent according to an announcement by UGA head coach Kirby Smart. The release follows Demery’s arrest Saturday night on charges of simple battery, criminal trespass-damaged property in downtown Athens.
“The Brunswick, Ga., native signed with UGA in February and was scheduled to report to the University in June to begin classes.”