Wimsat runs for 3 TDs, Rutgers bowl eligible after 31-14 win over Indiana

Sat, Oct 21, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)

Wimsat runs for 3 TDs, Rutgers bowl eligible after 31-14 win over Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Gavin Wimsatt ran for three touchdowns and 143 yards as Rutgers became bowl eligible with a 31-14 road victory over Indiana on Saturday.

The Scarlet Knights (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) equaled their best start since 2012 and tied a program record for conference wins.

The Hoosiers (2-5, 0-4) have lost 11 of 12 games in the conference.

Wimsatt scored twice on 1-yard sneaks in the first half, then the junior quarterback broke free on an 80-yard TD run for the game's final points early in the fourth quarter. Rutgers wore down Indiana's defense with relentless rushing in amassing 276 yards.

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Rutgers' Kyle Monangai, the Big Ten's leading rusher with 744 yards, finished with 109 on 24 carries for his fourth 100-yard game of the season.

Indiana drove to an opening touchdown as Brendan Sorsby threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Omar Cooper Jr., but Rutgers responded with two touchdowns. Shaquan Loyal came off the edge for to block a punt and Eric Rogers scooped and scored from 17 yards out in the second quarter to make it 14-7.

The Hoosiers tied the game on a Sorsby 4-yard run and appeared to be headed to halftime tied but returner Jaylin Lucas, the reigning Big Ten's Specialist of the Year, muffed a punt and Rutgers recovered at Indiana's 25 with 28 seconds remaining. The turnover led to a Rutgers field goal for a 17-14 halftime lead.

THE TAKEAWAY

Rutgers: A third consecutive win over the Hoosiers was important for bowl eligibility when considering the Scarlet Knights' last four opponents entered the day with a combined record of 23-3.

Indiana: Humbled by three losses to ranked teams as well as to then-unbeaten Maryland, the Hoosiers were unable to turn a losing season around despite taking an early lead. Pressure is mounting on coach Tom Allen, who received a seven-year extension in 2021. The home crowd booed after the Hoosiers ran unsuccessfully on a third-and-7 play in the second quarter, settling for a punt. It would take $20 million to buy out the remainder of Allen's contract.

BOWLING

The last time Rutgers had a winning season was 2014, when they were 8-5 with Kyle Flood as the coach. The only bowl game they went was Taxslayer Gator Bowl (Dec. 31, 2021) as a COVID-19 replacement for Texas A&M with a 4-8 record. The Scarlet Knights lost to Wake Forest.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights have a weekend off before hosting Ohio State on Nov. 4.

Indiana: The Hoosiers visit Penn State next Saturday.

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