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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers changed its offensive coordinator, finding a new identity, and breathing hope into a season that was headed off track.
Samuel Brown V had a career-high 101 yards rushing and a touchdown and Noah Vedral threw for 113 yards and a touchdown as Rutgers rallied past Indiana 24-17 on Saturday.
“Whenever my name was called, just to execute my job,” the freshman Brown said of his career day. “That was pretty much it.”
It was good enough to snap a 21-game conference home losing streak for Rutgers (4-3, 1-3 Big Ten). The last conference home win was against Maryland in 2017. It was the longest home conference game losing streak in Big Ten history.
Indiana (3-5, 1-4 Big Ten) opened the game with a 93-yard touchdown return on the kickoff as Jaylin Lucas went untouched to put the Hoosiers up 7-0.
“That’s huge. We’ve been needing to start better,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “The freshman is the faster player on our team, He’s a special talent and we got to find more ways to give him the ball. That’s exactly how you want to start.”
The fast-paced Indiana offense moved right down the field on its first drive of the game. Quarterback Connor Bazelak capped off the 11-play, 91-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run to give Indiana the 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
He was 23 of 41 for 210 yards and a late interception.
Rutgers offense was operating under Nunzio Campanile, who is serving as interim offensive coordinator after Sean Gleeason was fired following Rutgers’ loss to Nebraska. With the change and the bye week, the offense responded despite being put in an early hole.
“That tempo, you could see at the beginning it took our team — no matter how much you do different things in practice, it’s hard to really simulate that at the speed with which they do it,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. “I think it took us a series and a half to get used to it, but then what an unbelievable job the defense did.”
Trailing 14-7, Rutgers received the ball to open the second half. Following a 15-play drive that resulted in only 46 yards, Rutgers settled for a field goal. Jude McAtamney matched his career-long with a 49-yarder to make it 14-10.
The Rutgers defense had a three and out, and the offense had a methodical drive to take its first lead of the game at 17-14. Brown had a 2-yard touchdown run to cap a 12-play, 56-yard drive at the end of the third.
Rutgers missed a 56-yard field goal before Indiana missed a 52-yarder on the ensuing drive. The Scarlet Knights took over on its own 34-yard line with 7:37 left. Christian Braswell had a 12-yard pick-6, giving Rutgers the 24-14 with 5:12 left in the game.
Indiana hit a 38-yard field goal with 1:18 remaining to pull within a touchdown, but were unable to recover the onside kick.
THE TAKEAWAY
Indiana: After a 3-0 start, the Hoosiers have dropped five straight. And things are about to get a whole lot tougher for Indiana. The Hoosiers host No. 16 Penn State before traveling No. 3 Ohio State.
Rutgers: If the Scarlet Knights want any chance of making it to a bowl game, Indiana felt like a must-win. Rutgers has a gauntlet of a schedule remaining that included hosting No. 4 Michigan and Penn State, and going to Minnesota and Maryland.
UP NEXT
Indiana: Bye week before hosting Penn State.
Rutgers: At Minnesota next Saturday.
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Updated : 2022-10-23 07:00 GMT+08:00
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