Iowa Football

Fun Facts: Iowa vs. Rutgers. Oh, SHI

Finally, New Jersey has come to Kinnick Stadium

(Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
(Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Ten things to know about Saturday’s Rutgers-Iowa football game:

1. The last time the Hawkeyes won a Big Ten-opener was in 2016, at Rutgers.

2. This is the first time Iowa has hosted Rutgers, or any team from New Jersey.

3. This is the second meeting between the two. Other teams Iowa has played twice include LSU, Oklahoma and Texas. Also George Washington, Montana and Wabash.

4. Rutgers has lost its last 12 Big Ten games, never topping 17 points in any of them.

5. Rutgers has lost its last four road-openers by an average of 29.8 points.

6. The Hawkeyes have one player from New Jersey, receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Historically, the state has been very good to the program. Past Iowa players of note from Jersey include Shonn Greene, Mike Daniels, Akrum Wadley, Tom Knight, Leroy Smith, Bob Diaco and Bob Kratch.

7. Rutgers quarterback McLane Carter, a graduate transfer from Texas Tech, is left-handed. Carter completed 21 of 31 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns in the Scarlet Knights’ 48-21 win over Massachusetts last Friday. He also threw three interceptions.

8. Rutgers has sold 27 percent fewer football season tickets than it did last year, and 46.8 percent than it did in Chris Ash’s first season as the Scarlet Knights’ coach, 2015.

9. New Jersey has two NFL teams and an XFL team. Iowa will have a Major League Baseball game next August in Dyersville featuring a team from the New York side of the Hudson River.

10. Rutgers plays at SHI Stadium in Piscataway. It was known as HighPoint.com Stadium when Iowa played there three years ago. That’s right. It’s now SHI Stadium. You can supply your own jokes.

The Big Ten is 3 for 14 in stadiums with sold naming rights. The other two are Minnesota (TCF Bank Stadium) and Maryland (Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium). There really haven’t been all that many college stadiums that have sold out.

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The Rutgers/SHI naming rights are a seven-year deal starting at $1.25 million and increasing by $100,000 annually to $1.85 million in 2025-26. Rutgers Coach Chris Ash’s salary this season is $2.3 million. It will go up $100,000 annually through the 2022 season.

The coaches’ salaries always keep pace, don’t they?

Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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