Bears snap two game skid with 24-10 over Jets

The Bears got the win they sorely needed, only to lose another key player.Guard Kyle Long had to be helped off the field in the closing minutes with an injured right foot, putting a damper on a 24-10 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.Mitchell Trubisky threw for two touchdowns, and the Bears (4-3) came out on top after dropping two in a row to fall out of the NFC North lead. But they might have to get by without their three-time Pro Bowl lineman after Long was injured in the closing minutes. That was another hit for a team that was already missing star pass rusher star pass rusher Khalil Mack (right ankle) and No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson (groin).Long was hurt when tight end Dion Sims rolled into him as the two were blocking for Jordan Howard on a run, adding to a long list of injuries for the star lineman.He had surgery on his right ankle following the 2016 season and operations on his shoulder, elbow and neck after he was shut down late last year. Coach Matt Nagy said the team will know more about Long’s latest injury in the next few days.

”Can’t say enough about Kyle, how much he loves this organization,” Trubisky said. ”To see a guy go down like that, it hurts. We’ll just try to pick him up and rally behind him any way we can. He knows we love him and we’re just gonna hope for the best.”


Though the Bears were missing their best defensive player, Sam Darnold struggled and the Jets (3-5) managed just 207 yards in losing their second straight game.Trubisky was shaky but did enough to help the Bears come out on top. He connected with Tarik Cohen for a 70-yard touchdown on a screen in the first quarter and threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Anthony Miller in the third, making it 14-3. But the second-year pro was wild again after struggling with his control against New England the previous week.Trubisky was 16 of 29 for 220 yards. He also ran for 51 on six attempts.Cohen’s lone reception was the big touchdown. He also ran for 40 yards on five carries.He ran for 81 yards and a touchdown. He scored from the 2 to make it 24-10 midway through the fourth quarter, sealing the win after tight losses to Miami and the Patriots.Coming off his worst game as a pro with three interceptions, Darnold was 14 of 29 for a career-low 153 yards in his eighth NFL start. On the plus side, he did not throw an interception in this one.The Bears grabbed a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Cohen turned a screen from Trubisky against an all-out blitz into a 70-yard touchdown. It was the longest play from scrimmage by the Bears this season.

”It was just a great call by the offensive staff,” Cohen said. ”We ran the screen into a blitz and usually that’s a good thing. When I turned upfield, I just didn’t see anybody. I was kind of nervous not to see anybody and I just saw green grass so I took it.”


Nagy said Mack’s status was ”literally hour to hour” before the Bears decided in the morning not to suit him up, and they hope to have him playing next week. The two-time All-Pro missed his first game since Oakland drafted him with the fifth overall pick in 2014.

NU upsets Badgers 31-17 to lead Big Ten West by 1 1/2 games

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

EVANSTON—This was no narrow escape for Northwesten against a struggling opponent. Not this weekend.The Wildcats took out one of the Big Ten’s heavyweights and strengthened their chance for a spot in the conference championship game.Clayton Thorson ran for two touchdowns and threw for one, and Northwestern beat No. 20 Wisconsin 31-17 on Saturday.The first-place Wildcats (5-3, 5-1) solidified themselves as contenders for the Big Ten West championship while gaining some revenge for a loss at Camp Randall Stadium early last season that helped prevent them from winning the division.They increased their lead over the Badgers (5-3, 3-2), Purdue and Iowa to 1 1/2 games. The Boilermakers lost 23-13 at Michigan State, while the Hawkeyes came up short at No. 17 Penn State 30-24.With quarterback Alex Hornibrook sidelined by a concussion and the defense without several injured starters, it was simply a rough afternoon for Wisconsin. Northwestern turned two fumbles by star running back Jonathan Taylor and another by quarterback Jack Coan into 17 points on the way to its fourth straight victory.The Wildcats went on a 17-0 run in the second half after rallying to beat then-winless Nebraska in overtime and topping struggling Rutgers by three last weekend.

”Around here, a lot of times we’re called the Cardiac `Cats,” Thorson said. ”I don’t know how much we like that name. But we haven’t given anyone any reason not to call us that so it’s nice to get a win like that.”

Northwestern struggled early on for the second straight season. Now, the Wildcats have their sights set on their first appearance in a Big Ten championship game.

”I think our team is starting to improve,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said. ”I think we’re growing up. There were some growing pains there early. … I think these guys have had faith. They just stayed the course, had belief and are getting a reward for that effort. They can’t stop now.”

Thorson was a bit shaky again after struggling in a narrow win at Rutgers. He completed 17 of 30 passes for 167 yards with three interceptions against a short-handed defense. But he ran for two TDs in the first half and found Kyric McGowan for a 24-yard score in the third quarter.Freshman Isaiah Bowser had his second straight 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 117 on 34 attempts. He scored on a 2-yard run early in the fourth, making it 31-10 after Coan fumbled deep in Badgers territory .

Terps overpower struggling Illini 63-33

Illinois Fighting Illini

COLLEGE PARK—Maryland opened up its passing game and fortified an already formidable running attack with seldom-used Javon Leake.The result was a feel-good 63-33 rout over Illinois, one that was definitely worth singing about well into Saturday night.Leake rushed for three touchdowns and scored on a 97-yard kickoff return , Kasim Hill had the best passing game of his career and Maryland held the Fighting Illini without a touchdown until late in the third quarter.Leake is the first Maryland player to score four TDs in a game since D.J. Adams in the 2010 Military Bowl. Leake, a sophomore, finished with 140 yards rushing, including scores of 64, 27 and 43 yards.The victory left the Terrapins (5-3, 3-2 Big Ten) one win short of becoming bowl eligible, no small feat for a team that was rocked by the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair and has been playing under Canada since August.Despite of the uncertainty surrounding the program, Maryland has already exceeded its win total (4) from last year.The probe began soon after McNair collapsed on the practice field and died of heatstroke in June. The report is complete. Now, after the commission determined there are problems with the culture of the program, the school and the football team await the fallout.Reggie Corbin ran for 155 yards and a touchdown for the Fighting Illini (3-5, 1-4). Illinois had yielded 158 points during a three-game skid, and its streak of forcing a turnover in 21 consecutive games came to an end.

”It’s kind of beyond words the feelings we have right now,” coach Lovie Smith said. ”There’s been some cracks that we’ve seen, but not like this. We knew what was at stake, just thought we would play a lot better. I thought our preparation was good, but as you can see it was not.”

Starting quarterback M.J. Rivers was knocked from the game in the second quarter on a hit by Tre Watson, who was ejected for targeting. Rivers went 3 for 13 for 45 yards.Leake’s kickoff return and 64-yard run, along with two touchdown passes by Hill , provided Maryland with a 28-9 halftime lead. The Terrapins tacked on three touchdowns in the third quarter, including a 27-yard run by Leake and Hill’s third touchdown pass.Hill was removed from the game late in the third quarter with the score 49-19. He went 11 for 19 for a career-high 265 yards, and his three TD passes tied a career best.Playing Illinois for the first time, Maryland set a school record for most points in a Big Ten game since joining the conference in 2014. The Terps finished with 712 yards in offense.It was a redemptive performance for a team that mustered only 115 yards one week earlier in a 23-0 loss to Iowa.Watson leads the Terps in tackles and is tied for the team lead in interceptions, but this is the second time he’s been booted for targeting.Watson played three seasons for Illinois before coming to Maryland this year.

Irish overmatch Navy to stay unbeaten

SAN DIEGO—No. 3 Notre Dame got off to an inauspicious start against Navy when top receiver Miles Boykin fumbled after a catch on the first play from scrimmage.Book threw for 330 yards and two touchdowns, and Dexter Williams ran for 142 yards and three scores.Notre Dame is 8-0 for the first time since 2012, when it remained undefeated until being routed by Alabama in the BCS national title game.ND had 584 yards of total offense as it extended its dominance in the oldest continual intersectional rivalry to 78-13-1.Playing in San Diego for the first time, Notre Dame used its superior size and talent to take a 27-0 lead just before halftime. While the defense kept Navy’s triple option in check, Book kept the Midshipmen off-balance with lots of play-action. He completed 27 of 33 passes, to 10 receivers. He threw one interception.Book, from El Dorado Hills near Sacramento, improved to 5-0 since replacing Brandon Wimbush as the starter. Book threw touchdown passes of 4 and 22 yards to Boykin to in the second half.Notre Dame did that by scoring on four of its next five possessions. JaFar Armstrong had a 1-yard scoring run, and Williams then had touchdown runs of 12, 9 and 2 yards. Williams carried 23 times.Navy (2-6), which lost its fifth straight, finally broke through thanks to some big plays that led to Zach Abey scoring two 1-yard touchdowns in the third quarter. Book was intercepted early in the fourth quarter, setting up a 33-yard touchdown run by Mike Martin.Malcolm Perry had 133 yards on 12 carries.The game, which drew a crowd of 63,626 to SDCCU Stadium, was promoted by the San Diego Bowl Game Association.

Walker, Hornets get back at Bulls for Thursday night.

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

CHARLOTTE—Kemba Walker had 30 points on five more 3-pointers, and Charlotte beat the Bulls 135-106 on Friday night for their first home victory of the season.Through six games, the two-time All-Star in second in the league in 3-point attempts (64) and 3-pointers made (29) behind only Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who is setting the pace at 39 of 74 from beyond the arc.Walker finished fourth in the league last season with 241 3-pointers. Curry was ninth, but largely because he missed 31 games due to injuries.Hornets coach James Borrego told Walker he wants him to lead the NBA in 3-point attempts.

When asked his reaction, Walker broke into the widest smile he could muster, saying ”that’s what I want to hear.”

”We trust his three,” Borrego said. ”The way he’s shooting it, the confidence, the spacing around him, the movement around him, we expect those 3s to keep him in (Curry’s) area. And if we can get more, I want more. It’s my job to help him find more 3s and to create more 3s. We don’t want this to decline. If anything, we want this to increase.”

Walker, who came in averaging 31 points, bounced back from a season-low 23-point outing against the Bulls, shooting 11 of 18 from the field.He also had seven assists and six rebounds.Zach LaVine had 20 points on 6-of-16 shooting for the Bulls.Kris Dunn (knee), Lauri Markkanen (elbow), Denzel Valentine (ankle) and Bobby Portis missed the game with injuries. ”I know we are throwing a lot of makeshift lines out there, but it is not an excuse to not go out there and play hard,” said Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg. … Were outrebounded 50-34.

Hawks get key plays from Schmaltz to beat Broadway Blue Shirts

The Blackhawks are making all the right moves right now.Nick Schmaltz set up Alexandre Fortin’s tiebreaking goal in the second period, and the surprising Blackhawks beat the New York Rangers 4-1 on Thursday night.
”It was good to see a play like that connect,” Schmaltz said. ”Hopefully we can keep helping the team offensively.”
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews also scored as the Blackhawks (6-2-2) won for the third time in four games. Alex DeBrincat had a goal and an assist, and Corey Crawford made 18 saves in his fourth game after suffering a concussion last year.The Blackhawks’ solid start comes in the wake of their last-place finish last season, missing the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
”A lot of good hockey players on our team. Proud guys,” coach Joel Quenneville said. ”Wanted to get back to doing what we want to do, and that’s play in the playoffs.”
New York (3-6-1) managed just one shot on goal in the third period of its third loss in four games. Pavel Buchnevich scored in the opener of a four-game trip, and Henrik Lundqvist made 33 stops.
”That was really probably as poorly as we’ve played all year,” coach David Quinn said. ”We’ve done a good job of skating and competing, but that certainly wasn’t the case tonight.”
The Rangers also lost defenseman Adam McQuaid to an unspecified injury in the first period. Asked for an update on McQuaid, Quinn said it was too early to tell and he hadn’t talked to the training staff yet.
The game was tied at 1 when Schmaltz circled around the offensive zone before taking the puck to the net and threading a pass through the goalmouth to Fortin for a tap-in 10:33 into the period. It was Schmaltz’s sixth assist of the season, tied for the team lead.
”Once I saw his stick there all alone it was kind of an easy, no-brainer pass there,” Schmaltz said.
The Blackhawks put it away when Kane knocked one off the post before slamming it home for his team-best ninth goal 15:39 into the third. DeBrincat added an empty-netter with 1:09 left.The Hawks jumped in front on Toews’ 298th career goal, matching Dennis Hull for sixth on the franchise list.Toews went in all alone on Lundqvist after McQuaid and fellow New York defensemen Brady Skjei got tangled up near the blue line and fell down. The captain then slipped a shot under Lundqvist’s legs for his sixth of the season 2:55 into the game.Buchnevich responded for the Rangers, tying it with a hard wrist shot on a rebound at 4:09. It was Buchnevich’s third of the year.
NOTES—Scott Foster is going to help the Blackhawks at some optional morning skates after his memorable appearance as an emergency goaltender last season. The 36-year-old Foster, an accountant who played college hockey for Western Michigan, was pressed into action March 29 against Winnipeg and stopped all seven shots he faced over the final 14 minutes of the Blackhawks’ 6-2 victory. … D Brent Seabrook played in his 1,014th regular-season game with the Blackhawks, snapping a tie with Eric Nesterenko for third on the franchise list. Hall of Fame forwards Stan Mikita (1,394) and Bobby Hull (1,036) hold the top two spots.

2 Special team gaffs cost Bears against Pats

Tom Brady held his breath as he watched the final play unfold from the sideline.He saw Mitchell Trubisky heave the ball toward the goal line, Kevin White haul it in and a swarming defense keep the ball out of the end zone. That was just enough to preserve another victory for New England.Brady threw for three touchdowns and the Patriots hung on to beat the Bears 38-31 Sunday when White got stopped at the 1 on a 54-yard pass from Trubisky.About four or five defenders swarmed White after he leaped to haul in that long heave and spun toward the goal line. Some Bears players tried to push him across. But he got stopped just short of the goal line, sealing the fourth straight win for New England.

”You hold your breath when I saw him jump up and catch it,” Brady said. ”I didn’t have the angle on the goal line. He was getting close to the end zone. They were pushing and we were pushing. It was probably a half yard or a yard, pretty close. Good for us to hold them out.”

Even if the execution wasn’t perfect.

”Just too many people around the ball,” said Josh Gordon, who was in on the play. ”I went up to grab it. Somebody else went up to grab it. There was pushing and pulling, everything like that. He ended up with it so it was a great play. … Fortunately enough, we were able to hold him out of the end zone.”

As for White?

”Just tried to fight and get in,” he said. ”Tried to change the game, make a big-time play. So after I caught it, I thought I had a chance, like I said, for a split-second and once I felt a bunch of guys I knew it was over.”

The Patriots (5-2) also got two special teams touchdowns and came out on top even though they were without Rob Gronkowski.The five-time Pro Bowl tight end missed the game because of ankle and back injuries. But New England squeezed past the Bears (3-3).Brady improved to 5-0 against Chicago, one of five teams yet to beat him. He was 25 of 36 for 277 yards and an interception.Cordarrelle Patterson ran a kickoff back 95 yards for his sixth career return TD. Kyle Van Noy became the first New England player in 22 years to return a blocked punt for a touchdown.Gordon caught four passes for 100 yards. He spun past a tackler on a 55-yarder early in the fourth that put the ball on the 1 and set up a 2-yard reception by James White to make it 38-24 with 8:40 left.White had 57 yards receiving and two TDs. He also ran for a team-high 40 yards.Julian Edelman had a touchdown catch. Rookie running back Sony Michel left in the second quarter because of a knee injury. But the Patriots beat the Bears for the eighth time in nine games since the 1985 team got routed in the Super Bowl.The Bears hve dropped two in a row after winning three straight to take sole possession of the NFC North lead for the first time since 2013. The Bears’ three losses are by a combined 11 points.

”Coming up 1 yard short and not tying the game and going to overtime, that’s not good enough anymore,” Trubisky said.

Star pass rusher Khalil Mack was largely a non-factor after being listed as questionable because of an ankle injury he suffered last week at Miami, often dropping back in pass coverage. And Trubisky struggled with his accuracy, though coach Matt Nagy didn’t quite see it that way.

”A lot of people were out of rhythm,” he said.

The second-year pro completed 26 of 50 passes for 333 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran for a career-high 81 yards and a score.Trey Burton had nine receptions for a career-high 126 yards, including an 11-yard TD with 4:13 remaining.Van Noy is the first New England player to return a blocked punt for a TD since Tedy Bruschi against Baltimore in 1996.He scooped up the ball and returned it 29 yards after Dont’a Hightower blocked Pat O’Donnell’s attempt, giving the Patriots a 31-24 lead with just under six minutes left in the third.It was also the first blocked punt return for a TD against the Bears since the New York Giants’ Tom Flynn recovered one in the end zone on Sept. 14, 1987.

Bolts all over Hawks in second period for 6-3 win

Brayden Point had a goal and two assists and the Tampa Bay Lightning peppered the Blackhawks with 33 shots in a three-goal second period in a 6-3 victory Sunday night.The 33 shots are the most in a period since 1997-98, when shots by period became an official NHL statistic.Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman each had a goal and assist, and Anthony Cirelli and Yanni Gourde also scored as Tampa Bay fired a team-record 55 shots. Ryan Callahan added an empty-netter with 2:05 left.Blackhawks rookie Alexandre Fortin scored his first NHL goal to tie it late in the first, but the Lightning took charge with their speed and exploited mistakes to skate away with the win.David Kampf and Nick Schmaltz scored late in the third period.Schmaltz’s power-play goal with 3:48 left was awarded after a video review showed the puck had crossed the goal line within the glove of goalie Louis Domingue. It was the first power-play goal allowed by the Lightning in 29 chances this season.Domingue made 33 saves in his second start this season. No. 1 goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy got a night off following a 5-4 overtime loss at Minnesota on Saturday.Cam Ward got the start in goal and made 49 saves as the Blackhawks played their third game in four days.Corey Crawford was solid in the two contests, including a 4-1 win at Columbus on Saturday, as he returned from a concussion that had sidelined him since last December.The Lightning took the first six shots of the game, but the Hawks came on late and outshot Tampa Bay 17-12 in a first period that ended tied at 1.Kucherov opened the scoring 3:21 in after receiving Victor Hedman’s long stretch pass at the blue line and sprinting in alone past defensemen Brent Seabrook and Erik Gustafsson.Kucherov finished by beating Ward by lofting a backhander over Ward’s glove.Fortin tied it at 1 at 11:40 when he broke alone from the Tampa Bay blue after taking a long pass from Jan Rutta, who whipped the puck from corner of his own zone. After faking, Fortin fired between Domingue’s pads.Ward was peppered and came up with tough saves throughout the game to prevent a blowout.But Domingue’s right-toe stop on Patrick Kane during a Hawk power play with 1:40 left in the first period was the flashiest. Kane sped down left wing, took a cross-ice pass and fired from the circle, but Domingue kicked out his legs and spun like a windmill to deny the attempt.The Lightning took charge in the second, building a 4-1 lead while outshooting the Hawks 33-6.Cirelli made it 2-1 at 4:22 of the period when he kept poking at a puck from a scrum at the right side of the net and eventually knocked it in.Gourde increased it to 3-1 at 12:07 when he slipped between two defenders, took Ondrej Palat’s feed from below the goal line and connected from the slot.Point’s goal’s 1:54 later, on a rebound of Kucherov’s shot put Tampa May in charge, 4-1.Hedman pinched down to the left circle to make it 5-1 midway through the third.Kampf connected from the slot with 4:43 left to cut it to 5-2.Schmaltz made cut it to 5-3 55 seconds later, but Callahan’s empty-netter sealed it.

NOTES—The 21-year-old Fortin played in his fifth NHL game. Fortin, who recorded his first assist on Saturday at Columbus, was signed by the Blackhawks as a free agent in September 2016 after skating in the Quebec Major Junior League. . Although Crawford got the night off, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he was delighted with the performance of his team’s long-time No. 1 goalie in his first two games since Dec. 23, 2017. ”He’s made great progress,” Quenneville said. ”An outstanding first two games. Last night (Saturday at Columbus) was a goalie win, and he felt good after too.”

Crawford red hot as Hawks beat Jackets 4-1

COLUMBUS—In just his second game back after a nearly 10-month absence, Corey Crawford showed he is already in top form.Crawford stopped 37 shots to get his first win since late December, and Patrick Kane had two goals and an assist, as the Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 Saturday night.

”It was nice to see him play like that,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ”It was vintage (Crawford).(He) is under the radar. … We value his contribution to the success of this team, to keep us in games, winning games for us. He is as good as there is in the game.”

Crawford was playing his second game since a season-ending concussion suffered in a win at New Jersey last Dec. 23. He gave up three goals on 30 shots in a 4-1 loss at home to Arizona on Thursday night.Crawford said despite his lengthy break, he felt as comfortable as ever in net.

”It felt really good,” Crawford said. ”I think everyone was playing hard, rebounding, taking away sticks. It was a great effort by everyone.”

Alex DeBrincat and Marcus Kruger also scored for the Hawks, who earned a point for the sixth time in seven games (4-1-2).Zach Werenski scored for Columbus and Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 22 saves.With the score tied 1-1, the Blue Jackets appeared to take the lead late in the first period when Boone Jenner forced the puck low past Crawford on the left side, but the goal was waved off for pushing the goalie into the net.Kruger put the Blackhawks ahead for good when he tipped a wrister from Alexander Fortin past Bobrovsky at 7:43 of the third.

”I thought we played a really good hockey game, our best of the year,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. ”We just lost our patience the last five minutes.”

Kane then got his sixth goal of the season from the middle of the left circle with 4:14 left, after a costly turnover in the neutral zone by Columbus’ Cam Atkinson.Kane’s empty netter with 1:37 remaining capped the scoring.The Blackhawks got on the board at 3:48 of the first period with their first shot of the game, as DeBrincat buried a pass from Dominik Kahun from the front of the net. The goal extended DeBrincat’s scoring streak to seven games.The Jackets pulled even when penalties to the Blackhawks’ Henri Jokiharju and Atkinson opened up the ice for Werenski, who carried the puck from the red line and fired a wrister that beat Crawford with 7:51 left in the opening period.

”Their goalie was hot, and we weren’t bearing down,” Werenski said. ”We weren’t hungry enough. We played a pretty good hockey game. We just have to be hungry around the net.”

NOTES—Kane and DeBrincat are now tied for the Blackhawks’ lead in goals (7) and points (11). … Brandon Davidson, a veteran of 152 NHL games with Edmonton, Montreal and New York Islanders, made his Blackhawks debut. …. Columbus has scored in six of its seven first periods this season. … Bobrovsky was playing in his 400th career NHL game. His career record fell to 220-132-36.

Cats struggle, but get by Scarlet Knights 18-15

Northwestern Wildcats (1981 - Pres)

PISCATAWAY—With a game for first place in the Big Ten West on the horizon against No. 23 Wisconsin, Northwestern almost got caught looking past lowly Rutgers.Isaiah Bowser scored on a 5-yard run with 8:12 to play and Northwestern avoided a major letdown by converting two fourth-downs plays on the game-winning drive in a much-harder-than-expected 18-15 win on Saturday.

”We had confidence in them the whole game,” Wildcats defensive end Joe Gaziano said of his offense. ”We knew that they could put the points up (we) needed to score and needed to win the game, so I think in the fourth quarter we kind of looked at each other and said, `let’s do this.”’

The Wildcats (4-3, 4-1) did, just barely, scoring the final 11 points and limiting Rutgers (1-7, 0-5) to a field goal in the second half.The win set up a showdown at home Saturday against Wisconsin, which beat Illinois 49-20. The Badgers (5-2, 3-1) and Iowa (6-1, 3-1) are a half game behind Northwestern in the West. Iowa beat Maryland 23-0 Saturday.

”It feels great, like I said. All the guys in the locker room are supporting me and saying congratulations and everything and it was a great win,” said Bowser, who rushed for 108 yards on 24 carries. He also scored the opening touchdown on a 3-yard run after Rutgers hurt itself by muffing the opening kickoff and being forced to punt from its own 5.

Drew Luckenbaugh added a 23-yard field goal for the Wildcats who won their third straight game overall and sixth straight on the road. Clayton Thorson hit Flynn Nagel on a 2-point conversion pass after Bowser’s go-ahead run.Thorson drove the offense 63 yards in 11 plays for the game winner. He ran 4 yards on a quarterback sneak on a fourth-and-1 from his own 46 early in the drive and he hit Nagel on a 10-yard pass on a fourth-and 4 from the Rutgers 15. Bowser scored on the next play.

“‘Their defense played really well,” said Thorson, who was 17 of 34 for 150 yards. That’s the best we’ve seen them play.NU coach Pat Fitzgerald wasn’t surprised his team struggled against Rutgers in the Scarlet Knights’ Homecoming.

”That’s Big Ten football, man,” he said. ”Win and advance. It doesn’t matter about style points. It’s probably really good discussion on your guys blog sites, but I don’t care, to be crystal clear. Find a way to win.”

Isaih Pacheco scored on a 44-yard run for Rutgers (1-7, 0-5), which lost its seventh straight game. Justin Davidovicz kicked field goals of 42 and 26 yards, while Willington Previlon had a sack for a safety.Rutgers, which had not led in the second quarter of a game since a season-opening win over Texas State, led 12-7 halftime lead.Davidovicz got the Scarlet Knights on the board with a 42-yard field goal. Pacheco gave Rutgers a 10-7 lead with the Scarlet Knights’ longest play from scrimmage on offense with 5:09 left in the half. Previlon sacked Thorson for the safety 1:38 before halftime.They just could not hold on.