Rutgers is used to dealing with challenges throughout the course of the college football season. Playing in the B1G East, the Scarlet Knights find themselves playing a heavyweight program nearly every week of the season.

Yet the Gator Bowl game against Wake Forest might be the most difficult of the year.

The Scarlet Knights received late notice about a bid to the Gator Bowl. With Texas A&M opting out just a few days before Christmas, Rutgers accepted a bid to the postseason pretty late, forcing Greg Schiano to rally the troops for one more game.

Schiano says that the lack of time to prepare for an opponent, and get players back on the field, is pretty tough.

“I think we are going to have to play a lot of guys. It’s going to be 80 degrees,” Schiano said, per 247Sports. “We only have five practices to get ready. That’s more of the problem. …We really eased them into it yesterday and even with easing them into it, our guys are sore a little bit, which is natural. We are going inside and heating it up so that helps a lot.”

Rutgers closed the 2021 season with a 5-7 record, coming up one win short of a guaranteed bowl berth. The Scarlet Knights posted the highest Academic Progress Rate of the 5-7 teams at the FBS level, giving them the first opportunity to accept a bowl invitation.

It’s going to be interesting to see how well prepared the Scarlet Knights are for the challenge.

Rutgers and Wake Forest will play on New Year’s Eve with an 11 a.m. ET kickoff. The Gator Bowl will air on ESPN.