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Rutgers stuns Michigan State with 18-point comeback victory, nears bowl eligibility

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights staged an epic comeback against Michigan State on Saturday and moved to within one win of bowl eligibility.

Fans who packed Shi Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey, sat through an absolute drenching with the terrible weather that rolled through the central part of the state but at least they went home happy.

Rutgers powered back from an 18-point deficit against Michigan State on Saturday to win the game 27-24. The Scarlet Knights scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to pick up the victory.

"Those who stuck around in the rain got to see something really exciting," Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said after the game. "Everything that could go wrong in the first three quarters pretty much did."

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The Scarlet Knights were down 24-6 entering the fourth quarter. It took about 2 minutes before Rutgers got a glimmer of hope. Aaron Young recovered a fumble for a touchdown.

With 8:30 left in the game, Gavin Wimsatt found Isaiah Washington for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Wimsatt then threw a pass to Christian Dremel for the 2-point conversion and cut the deficit to three.

Rutgers kicked the ball off and Michigan State returner Tyrell Henry let the ball bounce and Rutgers’ Thomas Amankwaa recovered it at the Spartans’ 21-yard line.

Scarlet Knights running back Kyle Monangai then ran 21 yards for a touchdown to take the lead.

"Games take a life of their own," Schiano said. "Some people think momentum isn’t real. They're living in a dream. But watch this one today."

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Wimsatt was 13-of-28 for 181 yards and a touchdown pass with two interceptions. Monangai finished with 148 yards on the ground on 24 carries.

"This was a testament to everyone's belief," Monangai said. "We came in at halftime and put the first half aside. It's easy to lay down if things aren’t going your way in the first half. But there were no shadows of doubt that we were going to win this game."

Rutgers moved to 5-2 on the season and are one win away from reaching bowl eligibility and have more wins than they had last season. Schiano led the team to a bowl game in 2021 – the Gator Bowl. It’s the only bowl game the team has been to in almost 10 years.

The team hasn’t won more than five games since 2014.

Michigan State fell to 2-4 as their season begins to really spiral out of control.

"Yeah, it’s a tough loss," Spartans quarterback Katin Houser said. "But I mean, we have to stay together as a team. I think we’re going to do that."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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