Around the Big Ten: Rutgers on other end of blowout

Rutgers Football
Rutgers head coach Chris Ash coached on the losing end of some embarrassing losses last year. He didn’t want to embarrass Morgan State. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

For the first time in 11 games, Rutgers coach Chris Ash knew in the fourth quarter that his team was going to win.

The clock was winding down against Morgan State (0-3), and Ash had a decision to make.

The Scarlet Knights were up 65-0 with the ball following an interception. Do they go for a touchdown and tack on more points? Ash said no.

“It wasn’t a hard decision for me not to score a touchdown,” the coach said. “I mean, it was the right thing to do, and our players and coaches agreed with that, and that’s what we did.”

He admits he’s been on the other end of it. After all, last season, the Scarlet Knights (1-2) were outscored by Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State by a combined score of 224-0.

“We’re not out to embarrass anybody,” Ash said. “We’re just out trying to get better.”

Penn State will try to stop Iowa’s run game

Coach James Franklin and Penn State will be traveling to Iowa for the first time since the head coach arrived in 2014. But he knows what to expect.

Franklin admitted Iowa’s run game is predictable, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to defend.

“One of our biggest challenges is going to be trying to stop their running game,” Franklin said.

Coach Kirk Ferentz runs one of the most “consisted, respected” programs in the country, he added.

“They’re going to have a few little wrinkles, but they are who they are,” Franklin said. “They’re going to be fundamentally sound; they’re going to be blue-collar; they’re going to be hard-nosed. They’re going to play that way on defense. They’re going to play that way on offense.”

Michigan State to play rival Notre Dame

There’s a good chance Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio had this week circled on his calendar.

He recognizes the rivalry his team has with Notre Dame, which started in 1966. Both teams entered the game undefeated, and ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, late in the season and the game ended in a 10-10 tie.

“There are football games and then there are football games that you play traditionally,” Dantonio said. “Maybe because it’s early in the season, and it’s always that first really big game in the season for us, there’s always been a big play here or something that’s gone on that you tend to remember.”

The coach said the 1966 game built the foundation on the rivalry, and ever since, fans have “pointed back” to that game.

“I think it’s a great rivalry,” Dantonio said. “It’s a national brand in terms of the rivalry itself.”