Rutgers Strong Defense: What ‘s Old Is New Again! This day in 1974…

Time for some more history about Rutgers Football from our friend Source over on ScarletNation.com. Today, Source provides us with insight about the strong and stout defense for which Rutgers has come to be known.

According to Source:

With the resurgence of the Rutgers defense, I thought it might interest some of another time when Rutgers started playing nasty defense. In fact, it started innocently enough on this day in 1974 and started a crowd traditional that lasted the rest of the decade:

After a win against Lehigh, Rutgers gave up 28 points in the first half and lost 28-16 at William & Mary on October 19, 1974. But the second half started a streak of 18 straight quarters without surrendering a touchdown. After 14 quarters, Boston University coach Paul Kemp said his team would break that run. Instead, his team tallied 90 yards on 53 carries and completed two passes for 34 yards and six first downs. In the second half, they had one rushing yard in 18 attempts and 10 yards passing. “It was a very emotional game for us. Their coach had challenged us by saying that we hadn’t proven ourselves against the run and that they were coming right at us,” claimed John Alexander. ‘We came on bad. They said our ‘D’ wasn’t really run at, but we stuck it to ‘em,’” said Nate Toran in the November 18, 1974 Targum. Elvin Washington’s 42 yard touchdown interception was the game’s only score. The shutout moved Rutgers behind only Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Michigan in total defense.

“It wasn’t hard for Scarlet coach Frank Burns to evaluate the unit that line coach Ted Cottrell, defensive back coaches Pete Savino and Bob Naso have molded into an outstanding mixture of young and old. ‘This is the best defensive football team I’ve ever been involved with,’ declared Burns afterward,” in the November 18, 1974 Targum.

“The partisan crowd of 13,500 were aware of the defensive exploits. They honored Bob Naso’s crew vociferously every time the penurious unit completed their assignments.” This was the start of standing ovations and entire Stadium chants of “Defense! Defense!” each time an effective Rutgers defense left the field and would become a Rutgers Stadium tradition for the rest of the decade.

Source adds some rather interesting stats to this commentary:

1974 Rutgers Defense 146 points 13.27 ppg (7-3-1 record)
1975 Rutgers Defense 91 points 8.27 ppg (9-2-0 record)
1976 Rutgers Defense 81 points 7.36 ppg (11-0-0 record)
1977 Rutgers Defense 181 points 16.45 ppg (8-3-0 record)
1978 Rutgers Defense 165 points 13.75 ppg (9-3-0 record w/Bowl)
1979 Rutgers Defense 169 points 15.36 ppg (8-3-0 record)

For those who enjoy the history of Rutgers Football, this is certainly of interest.

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About VigilantKnight

Living life on my terms.
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