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Federico’s FG As Time Expires Completes Comeback Versus Indiana


“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”

Quoting the famous words of the late Jimmy Valvano, Rutgers did just that as the Scarlet Knights erased a 25-point second half deficit, and turned it into a 55-52 victory over Indiana thanks to a 26-yard field goal by Kyle Federico as time expired.

Going into halftime with a 27-24 lead, Rutgers (3-3, 1-2), saw the Hoosiers (4-3, 3-3) erase the deficit and then some with a 28-point third quarter. But Rutgers started the comeback on a Chris Laviano to wide receiver Leonte Carroo 43-yard touchdown pass with 2:06 remaining in the third quarter. Carroo would then leave after the play with an apparent ankle injury as he came down awkwardly and did not return.

Going into the fourth quarter behind 52-33, Rutgers then took advantage of Hoosier miscues. Kemoko Turay returned a mishandled Indiana punt for 26-yards for a score. Then, running back Robert Martin ran in for a three-yard touchdown with 9:26 remaining after cornerback Isaiah Wharton stepped in front of a Hoosier receiver and snagged an interception, his first of his career.

On the ensuing drive, Rutgers safety Anthony Coffi picked off a Nate Sudfield deep-ball, and running back Paul James converted on a 40-yard scamper to tie the game at 52-52 with 6:29 to go. Federico’s extra point was blocked – his second of the night – but was the hero with the game-winning field goal that capped a 13-play, 59-yard drive after Indiana went three-and-out after James’ touchdown.

“I’m really pleased with how Chris [Laviano] handled that last drive, managed the clock, and allowed us to kick the field goal when the time ran out,” head coach Kyle Flood said postgame.

Rutgers kicker Kyle Federico kicks the game-winning football against Indiana on Oct. 17, 2015 / (Saed Hindash | NJ Advance Media for

Rutgers kicker Kyle Federico kicks the game-winning football against Indiana on Oct. 17, 2015 / (Saed Hindash | NJ Advance Media for

Carroo continued to show he is a man amongst boys with another three touchdown reception performance on his seven catches for 157 yards. His three touchdown day is his fifth of his career and third of the season. Carroo has 28 touchdowns in 27 career games “On the Banks”.

Laviano took advantage of a passing defense that came into the game ranked 125th out of 127 in passing defense, and threw for 386 yards for three touchdowns (all to Carroo) and an interception on 28-of-42 passing for a 162.7 passer rating.

The Scarlet Knights rushed for 210 yards, including a big day by Martin. The Harrisburg, Pa. native rushed for 124 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns.

It is the first time in school history that Rutgers has had a player with three receiving touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns in one game.

The redshirt senior James got six carries for 42 yards, but most came from the long 40-yarder in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Josh Hicks struggled, totaling nine carries for 24 yards.

Fullback Sam Bergen took a fake punt and carried for an 8-yard gain for a first down in early in the second quarter. Laviano threw a touchdown pass on the very next play on a screen pass to Carroo.

The Rutgers defense still struggled however, as Sudfield – who was questionable coming in to the game – sliced and diced the defense for 464 yards on 32-of-42 passing with four touchdowns and two interceptions.

Redshirt junior linebacker Steve Longa was a warrior, getting banged up and still finishing with 16 tackles to lead the team.

“… I’m really proud of the effort, really proud of how the players fought more so than really any of the plays they made,” Flood said.


The Scarlet Knights return to High Point Solutions Stadium next Saturday night for an 8 p.m. primetime showdown with the defending National Champions the Ohio State Buckeyes.

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