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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rutgers aids 2014 schedule with Washington State

Wide receiver Brandon Coleman will enter the 2014 season at
Washington State if he does not forgo his final year of
eligibility for the NFL Draft. (courtesy of The Daily Targum)
By Tyler Barto

Rutgers will open the 2014 season — its first as a member of the Big Ten — in Seattle as part of a home-and-home series with Washington State, its athletic department announced Wednesday. 

The potential move was first reported Monday by The Star-Ledger.

The teams will play Aug. 29 at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, not in Pullman, Wash., which was Washington State's decision, head coach Kyle Flood said.

"We certainly didn't have any stipulations," Flood said.

The Scarlet Knights begin 2013 at Fresno StateFlood said back-to-back West Coast opponents was not about the program's visibility.

"Our entrance into the Big Ten, you can't have a profile issue when you're in the No. 1 media market in the world," he said.

Adding Washington State to the schedule is key. 

The Cougars are Rutgers' only nonconference opponent in 2014 from a power conference, joining Howard, Navy and Tulane. The Knights host Washington State on Sept. 12, 2015, the first year of a home-and-home series with Kansas. 

Rutgers moves to an eight-game conference schedule in the Big Ten in 2014 — it turns to nine games in 2016 — meaning there is one less opening to fill with a glamorous nonconference matchup.

"There were other SEC teams that wouldn't play us," Flood said. "That's unfortunate because they like to come up here and recruit."

Boosting its schedule with higher-profile nonconference opponents has been a priority for the University, a precedent established under former athletic director Tim Pernetti. Rutgers closes a home-and-home series this year against Arkansas at High Point Solutions Stadium.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

RU has some big teams coming to Piscataway in the next few seasons.

June 20, 2013 at 12:52 AM 

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