Rutgers uses incredible rally to shock Indiana 55-52
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — When things looked bleak Saturday, Rutgers just kept punching.
Eventually, the swings started landing.
The Scarlet Knights erased a 25-point third-quarter deficit by converting three fourth-quarter turnovers into touchdowns and Kyle Federico delivered the knockout blow — a 26-yard field as time expired — for an incredible 55-52 victory at Indiana.
But the record-tying comeback was only part of a wild and crazy day that could have been much easier for Rutgers if Federico could have avoided having two extra points blocked.
With 5:25 left in the third quarter, Indiana (4-3, 0-3) looked like it would coast to the victory after scoring its fourth straight touchdown of the second half to take a 52-27 lead.
Instead, the Hoosiers botched the snap on a rare punt, Kemoko Turay scooped it up and scored on a 26-yard return — giving Rutgers (3-3, 1-2) the momentum it needed for the finishing flurry.
The final numbers resembled something from a video game.
Chris Laviano led Rutgers by going 28 of 42 for a career-high 386 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Leonte Carroo caught seven passes for a career-high 157 yards and three scores before leaving in the second half with an injured right foot or leg, and Robert Martin ran 17 times for 124 yards and three scores — the last two also career bests.
The 25-point comeback tied a school record that was set last November in a 41-38 win at Maryland.
Indiana piled up some big numbers, too.
Nate Sudfeld returned from an injured left ankle and went 32 of 42, threw for 464 yards — the second-highest single-game total in school history — and four TDs.
Devine Redding ran for two touchdowns and finished with a career best 93 yards. Mike Majette finished with 83 yards rushing, another career high.
The Hoosiers also had three 100-yard receivers — Mitchell Paige (126), Ricky Jones (119) and Simmie Cobbs Jr. (107).
And it still wasn’t enough.
After Redding’s 66-yard TD run made it 52-27, Carroo caught a 43-yard TD pass from Laviano.
Turay’s return 10 seconds into the fourth quarter cut the deficit to 52-39.
Martin then scored on a 3-yard TD run to make it 52-46, and Paul James tied it at 52 on a 40-yard TD run with 6:29 left. But the extra point was blocked.
Indiana punted on its next series and Laviano drove the Scarlet Knights 59 yards for the winning kick.