Report: Rutgers wants a football rivalry trophy with Maryland

Daniel Gallen
Contact ReporterCarroll County Times
Maryland & Rutgers have reportedly discussed awarding a trophy to winner of annual matchup.

Maryland's matchups with Rutgers the past two seasons have been some of the most entertaining games of that time span, with the Scarlet Knights erasing a large halftime deficit in College Park in the 2014 season finale and the Terps returning the favor a year later in Piscataway, N.J.

Those two hotly contested matchups, along with a few other factors -- the schools' status as Big Ten Conference newbies, geographical proximity -- could lay the groundwork for a rivalry in the future. And that's something Rutgers is reportedly interested in making official.

NJ.com reported Tuesday that Rutgers and Maryland "have had preliminary discussions" in awarding a trophy to the winner of the annual matchup, which will be this fall's season finale on Nov. 26.

Rutgers athletics director Pat Hobbs told NJ.com that he and Scarlett Knights football coach Chris Ash "have talked about it, and we've had initial conversations with Maryland. We want to do everything we can to promote all of our games across the Big Ten.

"But Maryland is obviously a unique opportunity, given its location and so if we can do so, if we can do some fun things around that and build a rivalry, I think it's important -- and we'll continue to have those conversations."

When the subject was brought up to Maryland coach DJ Durkin later Tuesday afternoon, he neither confirmed the report nor dismissed it.

"The great part about the conference we play in is all those games and they all matter a lot," Durkin said. "There's a lot on the line. We'll keep preparing that way and Rutgers is in our conference, in our division. That's a game we need to win year-in and year-out and obviously I'm sure they feel the same way. A lot of this stuff is for fans and the people around the game. It's not going to change our preparation at all or anything."

The Big Ten is known for the trophies awarded to the winners in some of its most storied rivalries. Minnesota and Wisconsin play for Paul Bunyan's Axe; Michigan and Michigan State play for the Paul Bunyan Trophy; and Minnesota and Michigan play for the Little Brown Jug, among other trophies.

Maryland and Rutgers both entered the Big Ten in 2014. The schools have played 11 times, with Maryland holding a 6-5 advantage all-time. The Terps and Scarlet Knights met seven times between 1920 and 1942 but didn't meet again until 2007.

daniel.gallen@carrollcountytimes.com

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