Nov 25, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA;  Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis (8) scrambles out of the pocket against the Wisconsin Badgers during the second quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers lands former Minnesota QB Athan Kaliakmanis

Former Minnesota quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis committed to Rutgers on Tuesday.

He entered the transfer portal after throwing for 1,838 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2023 and took an official visit to Rutgers last month.

Kaliakmanis will be reunited in Piscataway, N.J., with former Golden Gophers offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca. Ciarrocca now holds the same role on coach Greg Schiano’s staff with the Scarlet Knights.

Kaliakmanis completed 53.3 percent of his passes for 2,784 yards with 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 23 games for Minnesota over the past two seasons. He also rushed for 234 yards and three scores.

At Rutgers, he joins a quarterback room that includes incumbent starter Gavin Wimsatt. Wimsatt led Rutgers (7-6) to a winning season, punctuated by a 31-24 win against Miami in the Dec. 28 Pinstripe Bowl.

–Field Level Media

Dec 28, 2023; Bronx, NY, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Kyle Monangai (5) celebrates his touchdown against Miami Hurricanes during the second quarter with Rutgers Scarlet Knights wide receiver Isaiah Washington (14) at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers takes down Miami to capture Pinstripe Bowl

Kyle Monangai rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown, Gavin Wimsatt added two short scoring runs and Rutgers rallied in the second half to top Miami 31-24 Thursday in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

Monangai ripped off a 40-yard run to the 1-yard line early in the fourth quarter that set up Wimsatt’s second 1-yard touchdown sneak with 11:51 remaining in the game, increasing the Scarlet Knights’ advantage to 28-17.

Wimsatt completed 7 of 15 passes for 84 yards for Rutgers (7-6), which beat the Hurricanes for the first time in 12 meetings, dating back to the schools’ time in the Big East Conference. It marked Rutgers’ first bowl victory since 2014.

Miami (7-6) took its only lead with 10:33 left in the third quarter on Jacurri Brown’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Restrepo. But the Scarlet Knights regained the lead with 5:06 left in the period when Timmy Ward recovered a blocked punt in the end zone.

Brown was 20-of-31 for 181 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his first start. He also ran for two touchdowns, including a 1-yard run with 27 seconds left that got the Hurricanes within seven points.

Miami recovered an onside kick but was stopped on downs at the Rutgers’ 47-yard line with seven seconds remaining.

Rutgers dominated the first quarter and a half behind a physical ground game coupled with a stifling defense. The Scarlet Knights chewed up the game’s first 8:06 with a 75-yard drive that Wimsatt capped with a 1-yard sneak.

Rutgers made it 14-0 at the 7:37 mark of the second quarter on a 7-yard touchdown run by Monangai. Rutgers cashed in a 42-yard field, set up after Abram Wright intercepted Brown.

At that point, Miami, which was outgained 115-5 in the first quarter, decided to join the game.

With the help of consecutive personal fouls on the Scarlet Knights’ Aaron Lewis, the Hurricanes got on the board with Brown’s 7-yard scoring jaunt. Then they drove 73 yards inside the final minute to set up a 35-yard field goal by Andres Borregales as time expired, drawing within 14-10 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Greg Schiano runs out to the field with his team before the game against the Maryland Terrapins at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers extends Greg Schiano’s deal through 2030

Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano agreed to a contract extension through the 2030 season on Wednesday.

The Scarlet Knights’ all-time wins leader is 86-95 in two stints with the program (2001-11, 2020-present).

“This is a great day for Rutgers Athletics,” athletic director Pat Hobbs said in a news release. “In four years, Coach Schiano has transformed our program, this year resulting in bowl eligibility. Continuity is critical in building winning programs. We have the right leader and the right staff to lead the Scarlet Knights in the years ahead.”

Schiano will earn $6.25 million in 2024 under the new contract.

Schiano, 57, has guided Rutgers to eight bowl games, including the Dec. 28 Pinstripe Bowl against Miami (FL).

The Scarlet Knights lost four straight to finish the 2023 regular season at 6-6, including 3-6 in the Big Ten.

“I would like to thank President (Jonathan) Holloway, Athletic Director Pat Hobbs, the Board of Governors and our entire team for their continued belief in what we are building,” said Schiano. “Rutgers is home to my family and me, and we are blessed to have the opportunity to build a championship program right here in New Jersey.”

Schiano left Rutgers after the 2011 season to become head coach of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he was 11-21 during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

He returned to college football as the defensive coordinator and associate head coach at Ohio State from 2016-18 before returning to Rutgers ahead of the 2020 season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Kyle Monangai (5) carries the ball during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers RB Kyle Monangai returning for 2024 season

Big Ten rushing leader Kyle Monangai will return to Rutgers for his fifth season in 2024, he told ESPN on Monday.

Monangai posted six 100-yard games en route to 1,099 yards on 217 carries (5.1 average) in 12 games in 2023.

He rushed for seven touchdowns and added six catches for 61 yards for the Scarlet Knights (6-6), who will face Miami in the Dec. 28 Pinstripe Bowl.

Monangai has rushed for 1,779 yards and 13 touchdowns and has 22 receptions for 160 yards during his career in Piscataway, N.J.

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Jeshaun Jones (6) gains yards after a catch during the first half as Rutgers Scarlet Knights linebacker Deion Jennings (17) and defensive back Flip Dixon (10) pursues at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Taulia Tagovailoa becomes Big Ten’s top all-time passer as Maryland tops Rutgers

Taulia Tagovailoa became the Big Ten’s all-time leading passer as he guided Maryland to a 42-24 win over host Rutgers in the regular-season finale Saturday in Piscataway, N.J.

Tagovailoa completed 24 of 31 passes for 361 yards and three touchdowns for the Terrapins (7-5, 4-5 Big Ten). He broke the record on a 6-yard completion to Jeshaun Jones late in the first half and added on after halftime.

Tagovailoa has thrown for 11,256 yards in his Maryland career. He began the day fourth on the list and passed Drew Brees before topping another Purdue quarterback, Curtis Painter, and his previous record of 11,163 yards.

Tai Felton caught five passes for 140 yards and a touchdown for Maryland. Roman Hemby rushed for 113 yards on 15 carries and caught a touchdown.

Rutgers (6-6, 3-6) fell behind 28-3 less than 18 minutes into the game before mounting a comeback that fell short.

Gavin Wimsatt went 13-of-34 passing for 165 yards, a touchdown and an interception and ran for 48 yards and two scores for the Scarlet Knights. Kyle Monangai added 20 carries for 118 yards.

Maryland scored touchdowns on its first four possessions, featuring a 34-yard TD pass to Felton, a 6-yard run by Tagovailoa, a 17-yard completion to Hemby and a wide-open 44-yarder to Corey Dyches.

Rutgers went on a 10-play, 75-yard drive to begin clawing back. Wimsatt’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Young cut it to 28-10 with 6:43 left in the half.

After a Terrapin three-and-out late in the half, Wimsatt hit Isaiah Washington for a 42-yard play that got Rutgers to the 1. Wimsatt ran it in on the next play to make it a manageable 28-17 halftime deficit.

Dyches appeared to have his second touchdown of the game on a 20-yard catch-and-run, but he was ruled down at the 1. Backup quarterback Billy Edwards Jr. pushed it in on the next play for a 35-17 Maryland lead at 9:15 of the third quarter.

Rutgers managed to drive 94 yards in 14 plays, aided by Dillan Fontus’ targeting penalty on what would have been a third-down stop. Wimsatt scored from the 1 again to make it 35-24 with 6:48 to play.

But the Terrapins chewed up most of the remaining clock and Edwards scored his second 1-yard touchdown, one week after rushing for three touchdowns against Michigan.

–Field Level Media

Rutgers' Kyle Monangai and the rest of the Scarlet Knights running backs will try to run the ball effectively on Saturday against Michigan State at SHI Stadium.

Maryland, Rutgers aiming to improve bowl positions

After joining the Big Ten together in 2014, Maryland and Rutgers have slowly moved toward the middle of the pack in a tough football conference.

Both the Terrapins and host Scarlet Knights will try to shore things up before bowl season when they meet Saturday in Piscataway, N.J.

Both programs have obtained bowl eligibility but will finish behind titans Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State in the final year of the Big Ten East division.

They endured bumpy seasons to get to this point, with Maryland (6-5, 3-5) having lost five of its last six and Rutgers (6-5, 3-5) on a three-game skid.

Maryland made it close against No. 3 Michigan last Saturday in a 31-24 home loss, even as veteran quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa threw two interceptions and lost a fumble without recording a touchdown.

“You don’t win big games losing the turnover battle,” Maryland coach Mike Locksley said. “Losing that turnover battle 3-1 is costly. It’s the part of our program development that we have got to get fixed. We’re doing everything we can and we’ll continue to do everything we can to get that part fixed.”

Rutgers has watched its offense deflate over the past several weeks as it scored 16, zero and six points against then-No. 1 Ohio State, No. 22 Iowa and No. 12 Penn State.

Kyle Monangai, who led the Big Ten in rushing for a time, has been held to 39 yards for two straight weeks.

“Unfortunately Maryland is really good on defense,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. “I think they are somewhere … in the top 40 (for) defense in the country. I was kind of hoping when I throw the tape on that I was going to see a defense that was so-so and we could get back on track. But these guys are really good. But that’s life in the Big Ten.”

Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt has not thrown for more than 130 yards since a win over Michigan State on Oct. 14. His season high is just 198, though he’s accounted for 15 total touchdowns (eight passing, seven rushing).

Maryland has won two straight and four of five in the series, including a 37-0 beatdown in last year’s regular-season finale. In that game, Tagovailoa went 25-for-37 passing for 342 yards and a touchdown and Roman Hemby rushed for 70 yards and three scores.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Kaytron Allen (13) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Massachusetts 63-0. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Offenses under scrutiny as Rutgers visits No. 12 Penn State

Besieged this week by questions about the firing of his offensive coordinator, Penn State coach James Franklin implored reporters to address the No. 12 Nittany Lions’ next opponent.

“At some point during this press conference I’d love to get just a few questions about Rutgers,” he said Monday.

Despite Franklin’s efforts, the visiting Scarlet Knights (6-4, 3-4 Big Ten) received little attention from the press corps ahead of the Saturday clash with the Nittany Lions (8-2, 5-2) in University Park, Pa.

Franklin, who is in his 10th season, has been feeling the heat since the Nittany Lions’ 24-15 home loss to Michigan last week. The defeat exposed a sore subject that has been brewing all season: a conservative offensive approach.

On Sunday, Penn State fired Mike Yurcich, who had been the offensive coordinator since 2021.

Sharing the role will be tight ends coach Ty Howle and running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider. During games, both will remain in their usual roles, with Howle in the booth upstairs and Seider on the sideline, Franklin said.

“They both will have a role in play-calling,” Franklin said.

Additionally, graduate assistant Danny O’Brien, who played quarterback at Maryland when Franklin was the Terrapins’ offensive coordinator, will help oversee the QBs. Yurcich also served as the quarterbacks coach.

Franklin added that he hopes to have a new offensive coordinator in place before Penn State’s bowl game.

The Nittany Lions will try to figure out how to add more punch to an offense that includes two of the Big Ten’s top 10 rushers, Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton.

Drew Allar has thrown for 21 touchdowns with just one interception but averages only 6.3 yards per pass. That figure pales in comparison to Big Ten quarterbacks such as Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy (10.3) and Ohio State’s Kyle McCord (9.3).

In the Michigan game, Penn State’s unwillingness to throw downfield was particularly evident. Allar completed 10 of 22 passes for 70 yards and one touchdown, which came with 1:59 left, when the outcome was essentially decided.

On Monday afternoon at Rutgers, coach Greg Schiano also was peppered with questions about the Scarlet Knights’ conservative approach following a 22-0 loss at Iowa.

“The way we’ve played the game has allowed us to be in every single game this year going into the fourth quarter,” Schiano said. “In the past, that wasn’t the case. To me, that’s incremental improvement.”

Rutgers’ offense was able to generate only 127 total yards and seven first downs. The Scarlet Knights never crossed the Hawkeyes’ 40-yard line as nine of their 11 possessions ended with a punt.

Schiano said he has not considered benching quarterback Gavin Wimsatt, who completed 7 of 18 passes for 93 yards with one interception against the Hawkeyes.

The slate in November is tough with Rutgers having to face the defenses of Penn State, Ohio State and Iowa, which are ranked Nos. 2, 4 and 8, respectively, in yards allowed per game in the FBS.

Penn State is 31-2 all-time against Rutgers, including wins in each of the past 16 meetings. The Nittany Lions beat the Scarlet Knights 55-10 last year in Piscataway, N.J.

–Field Level Media

Oct 21, 2023; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Kyle Monangai (5) yells to his team during the first quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers secure bowl eligibility with win at Indiana

Gavin Wimsatt ran for three touchdowns, including an 80-yard dash in the fourth quarter, and Rutgers secured bowl eligibility with a 31-14 victory over host Indiana on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.

The Rutgers quarterback finished with a career-high 143 rushing yards on 16 attempts while completing just 5 of 12 passes for 39 yards. Big Ten rushing leader Kyle Monangai added 24 carries for 109 yards.

The Scarlet Knights (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) had not won six games in a season since 2014.

Rutgers’ rushing attack (55 attempts, 276 yards) led to a dominant 37:38-22:22 advantage in time of possession.

Brendan Sorsby completed 15 of 31 passes for 126 yards, ran 11 times for 49 yards and accounted for two touchdowns for Indiana (2-5, 0-4).

Sorsby, who officially took the starting quarterback job from Tayven Jackson this week, went 6-for-7 for 58 yards on Indiana’s opening drive and threw a 35-yard touchdown to Omar Cooper Jr. for a quick 7-0 lead.

Monangai and Wimsatt combined to run the ball 13 times on Rutgers’ opening drive, and Wimsatt’s 1-yard sneak capped a 15-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to tie it.

On the first play of the second quarter, Shaquan Loyal blocked Indiana’s punt attempt and Eric Rogers snagged it on the bounce, returning it 17 yards for a 14-7 Rutgers lead.

Rutgers was stuffed on a fourth down in Indiana territory, and the Hoosiers moved 59 yards in four plays, tying the game at 14 on Sorsby’s 4-yard run with 3:58 left in the half.

In the final minute, Indiana’s Jaylin Lucas muffed a punt and Robert Longerbeam recovered to set the Scarlet Knights up at the Indiana 20. Rutgers settled for Jai Patel’s 21-yard field goal to take a 17-14 lead as time expired.

Rutgers then opened the second half with a 12-play, 75-yard march and Wimsatt pushed in for his second 1-yard touchdown of the afternoon with 8:45 left in the third.

Wimsatt broke the game open early in the fourth quarter. From his own 20, he kept the ball on an option and fooled the defense, leaving a big opening. Wimsatt made one cut at the second level and beat the rest of the defense down the right side for his monster touchdown with 13:11 to play.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Tayven Jackson (2) passes in the first half against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana won’t rotate QBs against Rutgers

The quarterback carousel has spun for weeks at Indiana, but the Hoosiers want it to stop this Saturday when they host Rutgers in Bloomington, Ind.

Coach Tom Allen said Monday that Indiana (2-4, 0-3 Big Ten) will not continue to rotate quarterbacks Tayven Jackson and Brendan Sorsby the way it did in last week’s 52-7 loss to No. 2 Michigan. Allen has not decided who will start the Rutgers game.

“Bottom line is we definitely want to be able to have some continuity there,” Allen said. “I know we’ve obviously had some back and forth with that throughout the course of the season, as we have two young guys that we know are trying to grow and develop, and as we figure out what their strengths are as well. We just want to see them play consistently and build it around them.”

Jackson has started five of the games and has completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 914 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions. Sorsby has gotten into four games, starting the season opener against Ohio State, and has completed just 51.7 percent of his throws for 294 yards, two touchdowns and no picks, adding 81 rushing yards.

Coach Greg Schiano and Rutgers are left preparing for both quarterbacks.

“They both can throw it very well,” Schiano said. “They are both athletic. I don’t know, it’s going to be a challenge whoever lines up back there. But knowing who starts the game, that will be the guy, then we’ve just got to be ready for both.”

Rutgers (5-2, 2-2) is coming off a 27-24 comeback victory at home over Michigan State. Rutgers scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter thanks in part to a fumble return TD and a botched Spartan kick return.

Scarlet Knights running back Kyle Monangai continues to put together a strong campaign. After piling up 148 yards and a go-ahead 21-yard touchdown run against the Spartans, Monangai leads the Big Ten in rushing (635 yards).

Schiano likened Monangai to program legends Ray Rice and Brian Leonard, all power backs who run “downhill.”

“What I think Kyle is a great representation of is this is his fourth year in the program,” Schiano said. “He’s developed year after year. He’s gotten stronger. He’s gotten better as a football player. He’s matured and now he’s a grown man playing running back.”

The Hoosiers are 5-4 in the all-time series since Rutgers joined them in the Big Ten East Division. Rutgers has taken the past two meetings after Indiana rattled off five straight victories.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Michigan State Spartans linebacker Aaron Brule (7) breaks up a pass intended for Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Tre Mosley (17) during the first half at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Three fourth-quarter TDs get Rutgers past Michigan State

Kyle Monangai ran for a go-ahead 21-yard touchdown with 8:21 remaining as host Rutgers erased an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit and rallied past Michigan State 27-24 on Saturday afternoon at Piscataway, N.J.

Trailing 24-6 through three quarters, the Scarlet Knights (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) scored three times in the first 6:39 of the final quarter and took a 27-24 lead on Monangai’s TD when the running back eluded two tacklers and streaked down the left side.

Monangai’s score occurred after Michigan State’s second special teams miscue of the fourth quarter.

On the kickoff after Isaiah Washington’s 4-yard TD with 8:30 left, Michigan State returner Tyrell Henry did not signal for a fair catch. The ball hit the ground and bounced into the arms of Rutgers’ Thomas Amankwaa, setting up favorable field possession for the Scarlet Knights.

Before Washington’s TD, the Scarlet Knights moved within 24-13 when Aaron Young recovered a fumbled snap by Michigan State punter Michael O’Shaughnessy in the end zone. Following an illegal formation penalty against the Spartans, the snap sailed out of O’Shaughnessy’s hands.

Monangai ran 24 times and gained 107 of his 148 yards in the fourth quarter as the Scarlet Knights improved to 5-0 at home for the first time since 2006. They pulled off their largest fourth quarter comeback since erasing a 25-point deficit in 2015 at Indiana.

Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt completed 13 of 28 passes for 181 yards while surviving two interceptions and three sacks. Jai Patel made two field goals in the first half before Rutgers stormed back.

Michigan State (2-4, 0-3) lost its fourth straight under interim coach Harlon Bennett and committed three more turnovers, upping its season total to 15.

Michigan State’s Katin Hauser threw two TD passes and ran for another in his first career start after replacing struggling Noah Kim. Hauser completed 18-of-29 for 133 yards.

Hauser threw a 13-yard TD to Montorie Foster Jr. on Michigan State’s opening drive and a 4-yard TD to Tre Mosely late in the third for a 24-6 lead. He also had a 12-yard TD run late in the first following a Rutgers turnover.

–Field Level Media