SHI Stadium—-Rutgers came into this game hoping to keep their bowl game aspiration alive, the only problem they had they had battle the Michigan Spartans to get close to their goal. The Spartans had plenty to say about that in the first half.
Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt threw two interceptions early in the game which put the Scarlet Knights in a bind often killing drives and putting them in a deep hole in the first three quarters.
The Scarlet Knights couldn’t get out their own way but found a way to comeback and beat Michigan State Spartans 27-24 at SHI Stadium in front of announced crowd of 52, 879.
Rutgers running back Kyle Monangai ran for 148 yards and had a go-ahead 21-yard touchdown run to put the Scarlet Knights up for good.
“Those who stuck around in the rain got to see something really exciting,” Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said. “Everything that could go wrong in the first three quarters pretty much did.”
Coming off a 4-8 season that included a 1-8 record in the Big Ten Conference, Schiano had his team playing well in the last few weeks at least discipline. But today they shot themselves with penalties and turnovers in the first half but in the second half the Knights just played together and believed… CHOP and F.A.M.I.L.Y. definitely comes to mind for all you non-believers.
Katin Hauser marched the Spartans on their initial drive for 14 plays, 75 yards that ate up 7:28 of the clock. Hauser hit wide-out Montorie Foster Jr. for 13-yard touchdown.
Hauser was very efficient in the half, he was 11-18 for 91 yards along with a 12-yard touchdown in the second quarter and looked like the Spartans was going to blow Rutgers out of their own stadium.
The Spartan used their two headed monster running backs Nathan Carter and Jalen Berger to wear the Knights defense down in first half but bottled the talented duo up in the second half. They combined for 109 yards on the ground for the game.
Wimsatt was 13-28-2 for 181 yards for the day, he wasn’t perfect but when it came down to the stretch— he rose to the occasion.
Aaron Young initiated the Scarlet Knights comeback with 13:09 left to play in the game, recovering a fumble in the end zone after the snap slipped through the hands of Michigan State punter Michael O’ Shaughnessy to trim the lead to 24-13.
Rutgers cut the lead to 24-21 Wimsatt hit Isaiah Washington for 4-yard touchdown pass and then converted a 2-point conversion pass to Christian Dremel with 8:30 on the clock. On the ensuing kickoff the Spartans’ return man Tyrell Henry let the ball bounce on the turf and Rutgers’ Thomas Amankwaa recovered it at the MSU 21-yard line, controlling the ball despite clash a with Henry.
“This was a testament to everyone’s belief,” said Monangai. We came in at halftime and put the first half aside. It’s easy to lay down if things aren’t going your way in the first half. But there were no shadows of doubt that we were going to win this game.”
The Spartans went three-and-out on the next series and the Knights ran out the final 7:05 left on the clock.
Houser for the afternoon threw for 133 yards (18-29) but the second half the Scarlet Knights got after forcing him out of his rhythm.
Northwestern: Hosts UTEP in home opener on Saturday.
Rutgers: travel to Indiana next week to play Indiana