Rutgers football big play review: 5 plays that overwhelmed Virginia Tech
PISCATAWAY – It wasn’t an easy win for Rutgers football, but it was a win.
At 3-0, that’s all that matters for the Scarlet Knights.
“I think today the whole day was chopping, right?,” coach Greg Schiano said. “It was all about whether things go good, whether things go poorly, you can’t be thinking about the past and you can’t be focusing on the future.”
Schiano’s team beat Virginia Tech 35-16 Saturday at SHI Stadium, a victory that continued Rutgers’ undefeated start to the season.
Here are five plays that helped send the Scarlet Knights to the win:
Wesley Bailey’s fumble recovery
Virginia Tech started with the ball and on its second offensive play, quarterback Kyron Drones fumbled at the Hokies 19.
Wesley Bailey recovered for Rutgers – the Scarlet Knights took advantage.
On their first offensive play, Kyle Monangai ran it into the end zone for his first of three touchdowns. It gave the Scarlet Knights an early lead and momentum that helped them take a 21-3 advantage by halftime.\
Gavin Wimsatt’s 23-yard pass to Christian Dremel
Rutgers was up 7-3 early in the second quarter when Virginia Tech got called for roughing the passer on the first play of a Scarlet Knights drive at their own 25.
That gave Rutgers first-and-10 at its own 40. Gavin Wimsatt delivered a beautiful pass to Christian Dremel on the left sideline. Dremel managed to make the catch despite being tightly defended.
The 23-yard gain gave Rutgers a first down at the Virginia Tech 37. Three plays later, Wimsatt ran up the middle 34 yards for a touchdown that put the Scarlet Knights up 14-3.
Flip Dixon’s interception
Right after Wimsatt scored on a 34-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, transfer safety Flip Dixon intercepted on the first play of Virginia Tech’s ensuing drive at the Rutgers 46.
The Scarlet Knights couldn’t take advantage, going three-and-out. But it was a big play that kept momentum on Rutgers’ side.
“Flip’s a baller,” linebacker Deion Jennings said. “He’s kind of a quiet guy but you could tell he loves football. …It’s great to have him on the team.”
Aaron Lewis’ two-point conversion stop
Virginia Tech threatened in the second half. Bhayshul Tuten scored on a one-yard touchdown run that sliced Rutgers’ lead to 21-16.
The Hokies then went for two – a successful attempt would’ve put them a field goal away from tying the game.
But Drones scrambled to his right. Rutgers defensive end Aaron Lewis pursued and made a nice tackle to bring him down short of the end zone to keep it a five-point game.
“My defense did what they had to do to force the quarterback out,” Lewis said. “It was a big play and we needed that.”
Kyle Monangai’s 55-yard touchdown run
This is an obvious one.
Virginia Tech made it a game and had stolen momentum. The game looked like it might’ve been slipping away from Rutgers.
On third-and-1 from the Rutgers 45 with just more than 11 minutes to go, he bounced to the left side and scampered untouched into the end zone to put the Scarlet Knights up 28-16 and get momentum back.