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46-41 Loss To Maryland Ends Turmoil Filled Season For Rutgers Football

Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood (center) leaves the field after his Scarlet Knights lose to Maryland in its final game of the 2015 season. 11/28/15 (Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood (center) leaves the field after his Scarlet Knights lose to Maryland in its final game of the 2015 season. 11/28/15 (Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

The 2015 season for Rutgers football comes to a close.

It was a season, and year, full of scrutiny and turmoil. Multiple players were arrested, suspended, and dismissed for robberies, assaults, and home invasions. There was a head coach, Kyle Flood, who was suspended himself for improperly contacting a professor about one of his student athlete’s grades. Since September, the university’s compliance office has issued a full investigation of the program. This weekend, school president Dr. Robert Barchi will meet with Athletic Director Julie Hermann, possibly deciding her fate along with Flood’s.

However, Flood hasn’t heard anything regarding his job.

“I haven’t spoken to anybody in the university,” Flood said. “Nobody has given me any indication that I wouldn’t be the football coach. I fully expect to be the head coach here for a long time.”

A 4-8 down season for the Scarlet Knights was capped with a devastating 46-41 loss to the Maryland Terrapins Saturday afternoon that once saw Rutgers owning a 31-13 halftime lead and in complete control. Just like last year though, it was deja vu when Rutgers overcame a 35-10 deficit in the final game the season in College Park for a 41-39 victory. The Terrapins (3-9, 1-7) easily moved the ball against a porous Rutgers defense, accumulating 656 total yards of offense for the game, including 401 rushing on 42 attempts to average 9.5 yards per carry.

“We’re disappointed,” Flood said postgame, who’s team finished 1-7 in the Big Ten. “We didn’t get it done. At times during the game, we played well. A 46-41 game, back and forth, took the lead, lost the lead in the fourth quarter, took the lead back in the fourth quarter. A lot of tremendous efforts out there.

“This has been a tough year. We’re all disappointed. In no way. I’m in no way trying to move the focus off of it. We’re disappointed. We’re a 4-8 football team. We’re not happy about it, but we’re going to go back to work tomorrow.”

It’s unfortunate because, Rutgers signal caller Chris Laviano had himself a game. After not throwing a touchdown pass since mid October in a win against Indiana, the Long Island, N.Y. native threw four, including one to star senior wide receiver Leonte Carroo, who finished his last game on the banks with seven catches for 183 yards along with the score.

 62 / 64 Rutgers Scarlet Knights wide receiver Leonte Carroo (4) reaches out to make a one-handed catch ahead of Maryland Terrapins defensive back Darnell Savage Jr. (26) in the second quarter during their game at High Point Solutions Stadium. Pisctaway, NJ  - NJ.com

Rutgers Scarlet Knights wide receiver Leonte Carroo (4) reaches out to make a one-handed catch ahead of Maryland Terrapins defensive back Darnell Savage Jr. (26) in the second quarter during their game at High Point Solutions Stadium. Pisctaway, NJ – NJ.com

Carroo, who has fought a lower body injury since the Indiana game, finished off his career as one of the best wide receivers in Rutgers history. The Don Bosco Prep product found the endzone through the air for the 10th time this season, tying the school record for most in a season with Brandon Coleman (2012), Marco Battaglia (1995), and himself last year. His 2,373 receiving yards for his career ranks third-most all time at Rutgers. In 31 career games, his 29 touchdown grabs is nine more than any other receiver in school history like Kenny Britt, Tim Brown, Tiquan Underwood, Tres Moses, and Mohamad Sanu.

And despite one of his best days in Scarlet, Carroo was crushed after the loss in front of 44,846 inside High Point Solutions Stadium.

“That’s what hurts me the most,” said Carroo, one of 16 seniors on the team donning Scarlet Knight uniforms for the final time. “I’m a guy that looks to make plays for my team and I wasn’t able to ultimately make enough plays in the second half to win the game.”

After Rutgers went back up 41-39 with 4:57 left in the fourth on a Kyle Federico 30-yard field goal after Maryland gained its first lead, the Terps wasted no time regaining the lead and the victory. On the first play from scrimmage on the ensuing possession, running back Brandon Ross (28 carries for 173 and three touchdowns), bolted for an 80-yard touchdown run.

At halftime, Flood knew no lead was safe.

“When we came in at halftime, I told the offense `we need to continue to be aggressive.’ I felt like we were going to need more points. When you get leads in college football, you’ve got to keep playing because we’ve proven that we can come back. We’ve done it twice in the last year in a game that we can come back from 25-point deficits, and I had no doubt that Maryland had enough firepower to do it.”

But despite the long run, Rutgers was driving before being stopped about an inch short on a fourth-and-one Robert Martin run. Despite appearing to have enough for the first down, a measurement and booth review said he didn’t get enough and Maryland took over on downs.

In four seasons at the helm in Piscataway, Flood has a 27-24 record, including a 2-15 mark against teams with winning records the past three seasons. That won’t get it done.

Flood is a nice guy who does a great job with the community, but fans have become restless and tired of a team and a coach with underwhelming ranked recruiting classes and far too many blow outs. You can blame a young football team, the coordinators, depth issues, etc., but it always reflects the head coach at the end of the day.

Who knows, maybe a Al Golden or a Greg Schiano makes their way back to New Jersey.

Will Flood and/or Hermann be let go? What did you think of the season? Sound off and comment below.

httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l_e1M7RVVM

 

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