Promising young quarterback Gavin Wimsatt has healed up and is available to play for Rutgers when it hosts Indiana on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J.
Wimsatt sustained a lower-body injury in the Scarlet Knights’ third game of the year and missed the past month. A four-star recruit in the Class of 2021, Wimsatt threw his first collegiate touchdown pass and ran for 62 yards for Rutgers (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten) against FCS Wagner, but he was injured early in the following game against Temple.
Rutgers has rotated Evan Simon, Noah Vedral and Wimsatt at quarterback this year, though Simon has taken the lead while the other two were injured. All three will be ready for Indiana, and coach Greg Schiano said the program isn’t moving away from the quarterback platoon, even after changing offensive coordinators earlier this month.
“It’s the same every week. Whatever it takes to win the game,” Schiano said. “And certainly, I don’t claim to have all the answers. So sometimes what we think is the best thing to win the game may not be. But we spend 18 hours a day trying to figure that out.”
Rutgers last played Oct. 7, when it grabbed a 13-0 halftime lead over Nebraska at home but gave it away in the second half and lost 14-13.
Indiana (3-4, 1-3) is also coming off a close conference loss, falling 38-33 to visiting Maryland last Saturday for its fourth straight defeat.
The Hoosiers led 17-14 at intermission and 27-24 midway through the fourth quarter before Maryland used some big runs and recovered a critical Indiana fumble to build just enough cushion.
“Tackling stuck out to me,” Hoosiers coach Tom Allen said. “I know they’ve got a lot of good athletes and that makes it more challenging. I get that. But just too many missed tackles.”
It was the fifth straight game in which Indiana allowed 30 or more points, but Schiano still voiced his respect for Allen as a defensive-minded coach.
“I followed him when he was an assistant defensive coordinator,” Schiano said. “They play really, really hard. I’ve read where they’re concerned about their tackling, but I look at them, and they’re a very physical team.”
Indiana quarterback Connor Bazelak ranks third in the Big Ten in passing yards (1,889) but has just a 54.6 percent completion rate with 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Rutgers ran away with last year’s meeting in Bloomington 38-3 to stop a five-game losing streak in the series. Indiana leads the series 5-3.
–Field Level Media