With 4 minutes, 1 second left on the clock Saturday, Rutgers kicked a field goal to take a 1-point lead over Minnesota, and were perhaps a defensive stand away from the Scarlet Knights’ first Big Ten win in more than a year.
But oh, what can happen in four minutes. The Golden Gophers drove 59 yards to set up Emmit Carpenter’s 28-yard field goal attempt, which he made to beat the Scarlet Knights 34-32 and send Rutgers its fifth straight loss.
— Minnesota on BTN (@MinnesotaOnBTN) October 22, 2016
The Gophers’ final drive took 13 plays and evaporated all but six seconds off of the remaining 4:01.
Minnesota held a 21-10 halftime lead over the visiting Rutgers, but the Scarlet Knights (2-6, 0-5 Big Ten) stormed back to take a 32-31 lead with 4:01 left behind two touchdown tosses from quarterback Giovanni Rescigno and Damon Hayes’ 55-yard interception return for a touchdown.
However, Minnesota (5-2, 2-2) countered on its final drive with a heavy dose of running back Rodney Smith, who rushed for 42 of the Gophers’ 59 yards on the final drive. Smith finished the game with 22 carries for 111 yards and a first-quarter touchdown. Smith’s work made up for a less-than-stellar performance by Gopher quarterback Mitch Leidner, who completed 11 of his 18 throws for 156 yards and an interception.
Rescigno completed 22 of his 38 passes for 220 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in the loss. However, Rutgers failed on its 2-point conversion attempt after his final touchdown, a play made necessary following a missed PAT after Hayes’ pick six.
The win keeps Minnesota’s Big Ten West division title hopes alive.