clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rutgers football has largest comeback win in school history, beats Maryland 41-38

The Scarlet Knights continue their success against the former UConn head coach.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

It was an old feeling for Randy Edsall, this time with a different team and in a different stadium. In 2008, RU beat UConn on four field goals when a late try by Huskies kicker Tony Ciaravino hit the upright with 1:09 remaining. In 2009, Tom Savage found a streaking Tim Brown for an 81-yard TD with 22 seconds left to stun a Rentschler Field crowd. And in 2010, a scrappy young freshman by the name of Chas Dodd threw for 322 yards and two TDs for the third straight win against Randy Edsall's UConn program.

Edsall is in a different place now, but the result was the same. After being down 35-10 with less than three minutes to go in the first half, the Scarlet Knights completed the largest comeback in school history to beat the Maryland Terrapins, 41-38.

The game started with the same ugly play we've seen from Rutgers in games against better opponents. Horrendous tackling, terrible throws by Gary Nova, and dropped passes. Down 25 points, Rutgers simply looked defeated with more than 40 minutes of game time remaining. But after a 77-yard TD scoring drive right before halftime (during which Maryland basically gifted RU points on several penalties), and an electrifying return by Janarion Grant, the Knights found new life. Grant returned the halftime kickoff for 75-yards, putting RU in great field position to open up the third quarter. A rejuvenated Gary Nova suddenly began to hit every receiver, and with less than two minutes into the third, the Knights were only down 11 points.

Nova looked off at first, but found his groove en route to a 28 of 42 for 347 passing performance, complete with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Three different receivers (Carroo, Grant, and Patton) went over 100 yards on the day, with Carroo going over the 1,000 yard mark for the season. Janarion Grant and Andre Patton each had career games, with Patton catching two touchdowns. Early in the game, the rushing attack was the only bright spot as Josh Hicks and Robert Martin found big holes in a porous Maryland run defense. The comeback was all Gary Nova however, as Ralph Friedgen trusted his senior QB in his return to College Park.

The defense, which was absolutely horrendous in the first half, suddenly became competitive to aid in the comeback. Oddly enough, it was two key defensive stands on 3rd and short and 4th and short that saved the game. For a defense that couldn't make one single tackle against the run, it was sweet victory to seal the deal for the program's seventh win in the inaugural B1G season.

The Knights finish 7-5 overall and 3-5 in conference play.