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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—With the start of the school year still a month away, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights fall sports teams are already preparing for their fall 2015 schedules.
The university is fielding football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball and field hockey teams, each of which will compete in the Big Ten athletic conference for the second straight year.
Taking center stage will be Rutgers football, who surprised many with an 8-5 record in their first season in the Big Ten.
Head coach Kyle Flood and the Scarlet Knights open their season on Saturday, September 5 at home against Norfolk State. Rutgers shut out Norfolk State 38-0 when they last met in 2013.
Rutgers will look to turn their Homecoming fortunes around on Saturday, September 26 when they host Kansas. A victory over the Jayhawks would be the Scarlet Knights’ first Homecoming win since 2011.
The annual blackout game will take place on Saturday, October 10 when Rutgers is visited by Michigan State, who trounced the Scarlet Knights 45-3 last season. However, Flood is undefeated in blackout games, defeating UConn, Arkansas and Michigan in his three years at the helm.
The Scarlet Knights’ biggest challenge will come when they host the defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, October 24. Rutgers was defeated 56-17 in their visit to Columbus, Ohio last year.
Rutgers’ women’s soccer team will be the first fall sports team to take the field this year, opening with exhibition play at Lehigh on Tuesday, August 11.
Second-year coach Mike O’Neill looks to build off of a hugely successful 2014 season, in which the Scarlet Knights advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Rutgers finished the season ranked 25th in the nation in the NSCAA Coaches’ Poll.
On Sunday, September 13, Rutgers will host former conference rival UConn at Yurcak Field. The Huskies are the reigning AAC Tournament champions.
Fans will also want to mark their calendars for Sunday, October 18. That afternoon, the Scarlet Knights will host Penn State, who finished last season ranked sixth in the country.
Last year, Rutgers scored a huge upset over the Nittany Lions when they visited Happy Valley and edged Penn State 1-0. It turned out to be Penn State’s only conference loss of the season.
The Scarlet Knights will be looking for revenge in their regular season finale at Iowa on Wednesday, October 28. The Hawkeyes eliminated Rutgers from the 2014 Big Ten Tournament when they defeated RU 1-0 in the quarterfinals.
The Rutgers men’s soccer team, led by sixth-year head coach Dan Donigan, returns to the pitch on Saturday, August 15 with a home exhibition match against Bryant.
The Scarlet Knights will kick off Big Ten play when they host Wisconsin at Yurcak Field on Friday, September 11. Rutgers defeated the Badgers in last year’s Big Ten Tournament to advance to the second round.
The men will face perhaps their toughest challenge of the season when they host conference foe Michigan State on Friday, September 25. The Spartans made it to the quarterfinals of last year’s NCAA Tournament, finishing the season ranked eighth in the NSCAA Coaches’ Poll.
Rutgers will wrap up their regular season at the site of last year’s Big Ten Conference tournament when they take on Maryland on Wednesday, November 4. The Terps won that tournament, and currently sit at No. 19 in the rankings.
Rutgers field hockey will begin its second season in the Big Ten on Saturday, August 15 with an exhibition contest against Fairfield at the Bauer Track and Field Complex.
A challenging home matchup with the Virginia Cavaliers on Friday, September 4 highlights the non-conference schedule for head coach Meredith Long and the Scarlet Knights. UVA finished last season ranked No. 15 in the nation by the NFHCA coaches.
The No. 6 Penn State Nittany Lions will visit Rutgers on Friday, October 16. Penn State reached the quarterfinals of last years’ NCAA Tournament, and should be a tough contender once again in 2015.
The Scarlet Knights finish up the regular season with a road matchup against Louisville on Sunday, November 1. The Cardinals finished last season ranked tenth in the nation.
Rutgers volleyball, led by seventh-year head coach CJ Werneke, will head west to open their season. They will take part in the Santa Clara Invitational, with their first match coming against Sacramento State on Friday, August 28.
The team will return home when they host the Rutgers Invitational at the College Ave Gym a few weeks later. Their first match of the tournament will be against Howard on Friday, September 18.
On Friday, October 19, the Scarlet Knights will host the reigning conference champions: the Wisconsin Badgers. Rutgers was bested by Wisconsin 3-1 at the College Ave Gym last year. The Badgers finished the season ranked fourth in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll.
Rutgers will face an even tougher challenge when they host Penn State on Friday, November 6. The Nittany Lions are the reigning NCAA champions, and will enter the season ranked No. 1 in the country.
Here are links to each team’s 2015 schedule: