Rutgers rallies past Illinois to halt four-game slide
Noah Vedral ran for the go-ahead 15-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and Rutgers halted a four-game losing streak with a 20-14 victory over Illinois in Big Ten action Saturday afternoon in Champaign, Ill.
Vedral survived two trips to the sideline medical tent and produced a strong all-around showing as the Scarlet Knights (4-4, 1-4 Big Ten) won for the first time since beating Delaware on Sept. 18.
Vedral completed 10 of 21 passes for 138 yards and also gained 56 yards on six carries as Rutgers gained 230 yards on the ground against the Fighting Illini (3-6, 2-4).
His biggest run came after he returned from his second trip to the tent. Two plays after Gavin Wimsatt kept the drive alive by hitting Bo Melton for a 13-yard reception on fourth-and-5 in his collegiate debut, Vedral stayed in bounds with a 15-yard run down the left sideline for a 17-14 lead with 14:16 to play.
Isaih Pacheco led Rutgers with 91 rushing yards and Kyle Monangai added 77, including a 7-yard TD with 4:20 left in the first quarter.
Valentino Ambrosio kicked field goals of 35 and 25 yards for Rutgers, which bounced back nicely from a 21-7 loss at Northwestern two weeks ago.
Coming off last week’s record-setting nine overtime win at Penn State, Illinois turned to Brandon Peters after former Rutgers quarterback Art Sitkowski suffered a season-ending arm injury.
Peters completed 14 of 19 passes for 190 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He threw a 52-yard TD to Isaiah Williams with about 10 minutes left in the second quarter for a 7-7 tie and added a 26-yard TD to Daniel Barker with 1:28 left that put Illinois up 14-10 at halftime.
Chase Brown was held to 67 rushing yards after getting 223 at Penn State. He was stopped by Rutgers defensive back Kessawn Abraham for a 4-yard loss with 65 seconds left that essentially sealed the win for Rutgers.
–Field Level Media