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Gavin Wimsatt delivers historic rushing performance in win over Indiana

The quarterback ran wild in Saturday’s victory.



Oct 21, 2023; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Gavin Wimsatt (2) runs the ball during the second half of the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

In Saturday’s bowl clinching victory over Indiana, Gavin Wimsatt made program history. In running for 143 yards on the ground, he set the single game record for most rushing yards by a Rutgers quarterback ever. He ran for more than half of the 276 yards Rutgers ran for as a team, the most for the program in any Big Ten game since joining the league in 2014. Wimsatt also tied Robert Martin for most rushing touchdowns in a Big Ten game with three.

Wimsatt delivered the game defining dagger and essentially punched Rutgers’ ticket to a bowl game with a stunning 80 yard touchdown run with just over 13 minutes left in the game. It was the longest run for the Scarlet Knights since Isiah Pacheco ran the same distance for a touchdown against Michigan in 2018.

“Gavin obviously. I just didn’t know how long he could go. That was quite a run,” remarked head coach Greg Schiano. “I was so far behind the play I didn’t realize how close he was to the goal line. They said he was in on the head set. I said oh my goodness. That was a heck of a play. And really a great read by him. Everything was done just right by him for that play to work. And it’s not an easy one to read, I can tell you. He did all very well. We needed it.”

Through eight games, Wimsatt has now rushed for 362 yards on 73 carries and 7 touchdowns. That’s the most rushing touchdowns by a Rutgers quarterback this century. He’s averaging 5.0 yards per carry this season.

It wasn’t a good day throwing the ball for Wimsatt. He completed just 5 of 12 passes for 39 yards. Consistency and accuracy issues persist. However, receivers had three drops in the game. In addition, he completed a critical fourth down completion to Christian Dremel on fourth down on the touchdown drive to open the second half.

An inability to stretch the field through the air will make it very difficult against top opponents. After the much needed bye week, Rutgers will host undefeated No. 3 Ohio State. Wimsatt has completed some big plays through the air this season but struggles with accuracy have held his growth back. However, Wimsatt’s ability to make plays with his legs are an asset, especially in matchup games like Saturday’s win over Indiana. Getting Wimsatt out on the edge in space on designed run plays should hopefully be a point of emphasis with the offense in this upcoming break. The more opponents need to prepare for and contain in Wimsatt’s game, it will benefit the Rutgers offense as a whole.

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  1. pj43

    October 22, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    So happy for this team to become Bowl eligible. They play hard to the final whistle – a credit to Schiano, his staff & the culture he’s built as HC. No one should deny at this point in the season that the OL has improved under Flaherty. They have proved that they can move the ball on the ground against the lower level teams in the conference. I’ve said enough about my thoughts on Wimsatt’s inaccuracy issues. It’s too late to address it this season but I’m hopeful it will be addressed in the off season. Ciarrocca seems to have reached the conclusion that the passing game will be a diminishing part of the game plan. Rutgers will depend on its defense, special teams and an apparent broadening of Wimsatt’s role in the run game.

    I don’t see how Rutgers can play with OSU & PSU. IA will be a rock fight determined most likely by turnovers suggesting that Ciarrocca may never call for a pass play in that game. The MD game is a wild card game. Frankly, unless the defense can get to their QB consistently, they will score & Rutgers won’t be be able to match it. But, when all is said & done this is a program going in the right direction. I felt going into the season that 5 wins was the most probable ceiling and next year was the year to see 6 wins or better. Glad I was wrong

    • thevinman

      October 22, 2023 at 9:44 pm

      Yes we need a better passing game to come close to OSU and PSU. Hopefully, Rutgers has been playing it close to the vest and will start uncorking some surprises.

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