Rutgers rallies to knock off Purdue 37-30 behind Langan

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Backup quarterback Johnny Langan sparked a second-half comeback to lead Rutgers to a 37-30 victory over Purdue Saturday in Big Ten Conference action.

Langan completed all four passing attempts for 95 yards and ran for 95 yards on 21 carries for the Scarlet Knights (2-4). Langan took over for Artur Sitkowski for most of the second half. Sitkowski got the nod because starter Noah Vedral was injured in the last game.

The Scarlet Knights narrowed their 10-point halftime deficit to 23-20 on a 62-yard touchdown pass from Langan to Kay’Ron Adams with 12:29 left in the third quarter.

Purdue (2-3) answered with an 18-yard TD pass from Jack Plummer to David Bell for a 10-point advantage, but then the momentum shifted heavily in Rutgers’ favor when Aron Cruickshank responded with a 100-yard kickoff return for a TD.

The Scarlet Knights took a 34-30 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Aaron Young with 3:42 left in the third quarter. Rutgers boosted the advantage to 37-30 on a 28-yard field goal by Valentino Ambrosio.

Purdue took a 7-0 lead on an impressive opening drive, capped by a 1-yard TD pass from Plummer to Payne Durham.

Rutgers took a 13-7 edge as Sitkowski twice connected with Shameen Jones on a pair of 14-yard TD passes.

The second quarter was all Purdue with 16 unanswered points. After the Boilermakers failed on a fourth-and-2 pass play from the Rutgers 3, Purdue picked up a safety when defensive lineman Branson Deen tackled Sitkowski in the end zone.

The Boilermakers added touchdowns on 1-yard runs by Zander Horvath and Plummer to take a 23-13 halftime lead.

Horvath led Purdue with 101 yards on 19 attempts.

THE TAKEAWAY

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights got a huge second-half lift from backup quarterback Johnny Langan, who was able to put the Boilermakers defense off balance with some big runs and a big TD pass.

Purdue: The Boilermakers faded in the second half as their offense sputtered and had trouble keeping up the Scarlet Knights. A big special teams error didn’t help as the Purdue allowed its first kickoff return for a TD since 2013.

UP NEXT

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights will host Penn State Saturday.

Purdue: The Boilermakers will host Nebraska Saturday.

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