EAST LANSING, Mich. — Greg Schiano is back. Rutgers' Big Ten losing streak is gone.
Schiano's second stint couldn't have gotten off to a better start for the Scarlet Knights, as Rutgers jumped on Michigan State at the start, forcing seven Spartans turnovers and making plenty of big plays on offense, to finish with a 38-27 victory over Michigan State on Saturday.
With the win, Rutgers' snapped its 21-game losing streak that extended back to 2017.
It was an odd game day atmosphere. Michigan State's campus was quiet, the area around the stadium was mostly lifeless and there were no fans in the stands.
But Rutgers was just glad to have the opportunity to finally play, and it showed.
Rutgers defensive back Brendon White celebrates after recovering a fumble by Michigan State wide receiver Jayden Reed on during the first half at Spartan Stadium. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)
The Scarlet Knights turned in a convincing performance on both sides of the ball, immediately injecting confidence into a program that had significantly fallen in recent years.
One major question for Rutgers was answered shortly before kickoff.
Noah Vedral, the graduate transfer from Nebraska, will got the start and played well. He went 18-of-29 for 169 yards with one touchdown through the air and another on the ground.
More importantly, Vedral made some big passes when Rutgers needed them — a 25-yard pass to Bo Melton on the first drive of the game, a 30-yard pass to Aron Cruickshank on a second-and-7 from Rutgers' 23 in the fourth quarter.
And then perhaps his biggest pass came in with 4:38 to go in the fourth when he sent a beautiful 14-yard pass to Shameen Jones that would put Rutgers up 38-20.
Vedral did some damage with his legs, too, including a 24-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
The turnovers started early as Michigan State fumbled on its first offensive play. The Scarlet Knights turned that miscue in a touchdown.
Later, Mohamded Toure had a strip sack on quarterback Rocky Lombardi and Tyreek Maddox-Williams recovered the fumble at the Spartans' 1-yard line.
That led to a one-yard touchdown run by Johnny Langan.
Tre Avery later had an interception that led to Vedral's TD run.
And then Brendan White, a transfer from Ohio State, sealed the win with an interception in the final minute.
Not only was the Scarlet Knights' defense forcing turnover after turnover, but it also significantly limited Michigan State's ground game.
The Spartans finished with just 60 rushing yards.
Linebacker Tyshon Fogg finished with 12 tackles, and overall Rutgers' defense finished
The win was big for the credibility of the program that saw Schiano return nine years after leaving the school to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Schiano and his coaching staff want to draw the state's top talent to Rutgers. They want the Scarlet Knights to keep those players home.
If there were any players considering Rutgers, Saturday's result certainly could give them even more to think about.
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