It's been a long offseason full of training for the Rutgers football team, with multiple position battles and new faces trying to make a name for themselves in the new year.
Now, the Scarlet Knights will have to put their training camp pencils down because the real test starts in early September when college football season returns to Piscataway. Here's a look at the upcoming slate of games for Rutgers this season.
Game one: Northwestern — September 3, noon
The first game of the season for Rutgers will be at SHI Stadium on Busch campus this Sunday at noon as it faces off against Northwestern.
It's been a tumultuous offseason for the Wildcats as the team has faced an onslaught of hazing allegations, which are still under investigation. The scandals have led to the firing of Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who interim coach and former defensive coordinator David Braun replaced.
The Knights will look to take advantage of playing in front of their home crowd against a team that may be distracted.
Game two: Temple — September 9, 7:30 p.m.
In their past two matchups, Rutgers football has fared well against Temple. Two years ago, the Knights opened the season with a 61-14 thrashing of the Owls. Last season, Rutgers met Temple in Philadelphia and came out with a narrow 16-14 win. The Knights' defense singlehandedly won them the game last season, and Rutgers will look to force turnovers once again when it plays the Owls this season.
Game three: Virginia Tech — September 16, 3:30 p.m.
The Knights will play their third straight home game against a former Big East foe, Virginia Tech. Rutgers last met the Hokies in 2012, when the team lost on an overtime field goal in the Russell Athletic Bowl. The last time Virginia Tech came to Piscataway was in 2003. The Hokies lead 12-3 in the all-time matchup with 12 straight wins. The Knights will look to change that.
Game four: at Michigan — September 23, noon
Last season, Rutgers played arguably one of its best halves of football when the team was up 17-14 against then-No. 4 Michigan. Things fell apart when the Knights squandered 38 straight points to the Wolverines in the second half. Rutgers will be eyeing revenge on the field during this matchup.
Game five: Wagner — September 30, TBD
The Knights should feel good about this matchup after defeating Wagner by a hefty score of 66-7 last season at home. Sophomore quarterback Gavin Wimsatt looked good in the pocket and fired his first collegiate touchdown in a game where seven different players scored a touchdown for Rutgers. The Knights will look to keep putting the ball in different playmakers' hands in this season's game against the Seahawks.
Game six: at Wisconsin — October 7, TBD
Rutgers is 0-4 against Wisconsin since joining the Big Ten. The last time these two teams met at SHI Stadium, the Badgers pounced on the Knights and won 52-3. This will be another revenge game for Rutgers after falling to Wisconsin two years ago. Look for the Knights to try to pounce on offense and put up more than just a field goal, as they did in the last matchup in front of the Rutgers faithful.
Game seven: Michigan State — October 14, noon
This is a game many Rutgers fans feel their team can win. Last season, Rutgers played Michigan State well and lost only by 6 points. It was one of the Knights' most competitive Big Ten games in a season where they only won one game in the conference. Look for Rutgers to try to narrow the gap between the two teams and capitalize on this one at home.
Game eight: at Indiana — October 21, noon
The Knights will head to Bloomington, Indiana, to play against Indiana in another game where they could be favored. In recent history, Rutgers has gotten the edge in the last two games with a 38-3 win against the Hoosiers two seasons ago and a 24-17 win at home last season. The team will look to continue its stretch of success against Indiana while away from home.
Game nine: Ohio State — November 4, TBD
The Knights are 0-9 against Ohio State since joining the Big Ten. It's never easy against the Buckeyes, but upsets can never be ruled out — even if it has to be a big upset. In last year's game in Columbus, Ohio, Rutgers recovered a muffed punt in the opening seconds of the game and scored shortly after to take the lead by seven points.
Unfortunately, Ohio State outscored the Knights 49-3 the rest of the way. Rutgers will have to keep its foot firmly on the gas pedal the whole game this season. If not, the Knights' chances of winning will drop quickly.
Game 10: at Iowa — November 11, TBD
Last season, under the bright lights in a nationally televised game, Rutgers fell to Iowa in a packed, sold-out SHI Stadium. Fumbles and interceptions hurt the Knights in that contest. In order to earn a victory in this one, they will need to have better ball control. This will be yet another revenge game for Rutgers.
Game 11: at Penn State — November 18, TBD
Playing a game and winning at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania, is never easy for Rutgers. The team is a dismal 1-26 against Penn State throughout history and will be heavy underdogs in this upcoming game. The last time the Knights faced the Nittany Lions on the road, they were crushed 28-0. While away from home, the team may uphold its reputation or, against past odds, avenge it.
Game 12: Maryland — November 25, TBD
This matchup has the potential to be a big game for Rutgers as it could be one win away from being eligible to participate in a bowl game. Only time will tell whether it will step up to the plate in its last home game of the season.
It will be a critical season for head coach Greg Schiano and the Knights in a competitive Big Ten, but the team will be ready come Sunday.
For more updates on the Rutgers football team this season, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.