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Rutgers football scores comeback victory against Boston College

The Rutgers football team overcame being on the road and trailing in the fourth quarter, using a long late-game drive to defeat Boston College and start its season 1-0. – Photo by Rutgers Football / Twitter

The Rutgers football team started its season in cinematic fashion on Saturday, stringing together a 96-yard drive in the fourth quarter to defeat Boston College 22-21. The Scarlet Knights (1-0, 0-0) out rushed the Eagles (0-1, 0-0) 212-29, with sophomore running back Al-Shadee Salaam recording his first collegiate touchdown to clinch the game.

Boston College was the first team to get on the scoreboard, as Phil Jurkovec threw an 11-yard touchdown to Zay Flowers, who would be a problem for Rutgers' defense all afternoon. The team looked to respond on the following drive as sophomore quarterback Gavin Wimsatt took a read option 48 yards, marking his longest rush on the Banks.

The Knights were in the red zone, but 30 yards of penalties and a sack took them out of field goal range, forcing senior punter Adam Korsak to come out and send the ball back to the Eagles.

On Boston College’s next possession, Jurkovec would throw the first of his two interceptions, with senior defensive back Christian Braswell catching the ball in coverage.

Rutgers immediately took advantage of the mistake with senior wide receiver Aron Cruickshank taking a double reverse 26 yards to the endzone, cutting the deficit to one. Junior kicker Jude McAtamney put the extra point attempt off of the right upright, keeping the Eagles in the lead.

Later in the second quarter, Flowers would strike again when he caught his second touchdown of the game. The wide receiver had 117 yards on 10 receptions to go along with the two scores. The 14-6 score would hold up until the end of the first half.

The Knights would receive some good luck to begin the second half, as a low snap from Boston College resulted in a fumble that was recovered by sophomore defensive lineman Wesley Bailey just 6 yards from the endzone. It took sophomore running back Kyle Monangai two plays to score a touchdown, but a failed 2-point conversion kept Rutgers down by 2.

The Eagles immediately responded with a touchdown drive, as Jurkovec found Jaden Williams in the corner of the endzone to extend their lead to 9. McAtamney would kick a field goal toward the end of the third quarter, making it a one-possession game going into the final 15 minutes.

The score would stay the same with the Knights getting the ball back with 7:45 remaining in the game. Rutgers started this drive on its own 4-yard line and orchestrated a 12-play drive that took 5 minutes off the clock before Salaam scored a 22-yard touchdown. Bailey added two late sacks to seal the game on defense as the Knights left Boston College with their first victory of 2022.

Wimsatt and sophomore quarterback Evan Simon shared quarterback duties, combining for 110 passing yards. Rutgers had five different players rush for at least 20 yards, with Monangai pacing the team with 78.

The Knights return to Piscataway on Saturday, hosting Wagner at 4 p.m. at SHI Stadium on Busch campus. 

“We wanted to be 1-0 at the end of the first game,” said head coach Greg Schiano. “We got that done, and that feels good, right, when you work really hard at something and then you achieve it. But now that's done.”

For more updates on the Rutgers football team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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