- Associated Press - Saturday, October 17, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Nate Sudfeld might have played the best game of his career Saturday.

He’ll always remember it as the one that got away.

After throwing for 464 yards and four touchdowns and running for another score to give Indiana a 25-point third-quarter lead, Rutgers turned two fourth-quarter interceptions into touchdowns and made a 26-yard field goal as time expired to cap a seemingly impossible 55-52 victory.

“We kind of let our guard down in the fourth quarter,” Sudfeld said. “We can just do so much better. We can finish games a lot better.”

But this offensive showcase will be hard to match.



Sudfeld produced the second-highest single-game yardage total in school history after convincing coach Kevin Wilson he was ready to return from an injured left ankle.

Three receivers - Mitchell Paige, Ricky Jones and Simmie Cobbs Jr. - all caught at least six passes for more than 100 yards. Paige finished with 127, Jones had 119 and one touchdown Cobbs had 107 yards.

Running back Devine Redding scored twice and had a career high 99 yards, and Mike Majette carried 11 times for a career best 83 yards.

And somehow, Indiana (4-3, 0-3) still couldn’t avoid a third straight loss.

“I thought we got a little - I saw some things on the sideline that I didn’t like,” coach Kevin Wilson said. “Saw some eyes and attitudes where I think we’ve got to stay humble and keep playing. We didn’t, and they did.”

Rutgers was rewarded after absorbing all those body blows for three quarters.

“We’re relentless, we’ll never give up and we have a lot of fight in this team,” quarterback Chris Laviano said.

Even when things looked bleak.

For the second time in 11 months, Rutgers (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) rallied from 25 points down. They matched a school record that was set during a 41-38 victory at Maryland last November.

But this comeback seemed even more improbable after Indiana went 66 yards for a touchdown to make it a 52-27 lead with 5:25 left in the third quarter.

Somehow, Rutgers’ defense buckled down after allowing four straight touchdowns to start the second half, and the Hoosiers helped with three big mistakes that allowed the Scarlet Knights to pick themselves up off the mat.

Kemoko Turay scooped up a botched snap on a rare Indiana punt and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown to make it 52-39.

Robert Martin converted Nate Sudfeld’s first interception into a 3-yard TD run that made it 52-46. Paul James scored on a 40-yard TD run after Sudfeld’s second interception to tie the score at 52 with 6:29 left. The extra point was blocked.

Laviano closed it out by leading Rutgers on a final 59-yard drive to set up Federico for the winning kick and the knockout.

“There’s no point in thinking about the last one when you’ve got one right in front of you that you’ve got to make,” said Federico, who had two extra points blocked.

The final numbers resembled something out of a video game.

Indiana and Rutgers combined for 1,223 yards of offense, 15 touchdowns and 43 plays of 10 or more yards. The 107 combined points were No. 2 all-time at Memorial Stadium.

Laviano was 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. His replacement Carlton Agudosi caught three passes for 72 yards.

Martin ran 17 times for a career best 124 yards and a career high three TDs.

After building a 17-7 lead early in the second quarter, then allowing Rutgers to retake the lead 27-24 in the final minute of the first half, Indiana scored four straight touchdowns to take the seemingly safe lead.

But Rutgers refused to go down and the Hoosiers early sideline celebration proved costly.

“It’s adjustments, it’s guys making plays,” Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said. “I think it’s just a matter of continuing to compete and it’s not easy to do. It takes tough-minded people, and I think we have that.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide