Forgive college football fans if they didn’t see this one coming:
UConn vs. Rutgers, Oct. 6, representing a battle of two of the country’s best defenses and a deep rivalry.
The first part of that intro has been obvious on the field. Both Rutgers and UConn are very good defensively. Some of that comes from competition, but don’t forget that Rutgers has taken on Arkansas and UConn faced off with N.C. State. Not all of their respective games are against the Buffalos of the world.
The second part comes from Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant. According to Jacobs, several members of the UConn team who are New Jersey natives have little affection for their home state team. In fact, due to feeling snubbed, they hate New Jersey’s state school.
“I don’t like Rutgers,” UConn’s starting senior cornerback said. “I never have. I never will.”
According to some of the UConn players who grew up in New Jersey and within the shadows of Rutgers, the school has taken an arrogant stance toward middle-of-the-road recruits in-state.
Instead of pursuing them from the start of their high school careers, Rutgers has pursued high caliber out-of-state players. Then, if scholarships open up, the Scarlet Knights try to swoop in with the hometown appeal at the last minute.
While this has undoubtedly worked for Rutgers in building some of their roster over the past decade, there are at least a few players heading into Piscataway this weekend as Huskies.
If they have it their way, they’ll be leaving with a victory.