Rutgers 19, Kentucky 18
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ Brian Cobb returned a kickoff 94 yards to set up a 4-yard third-quarter scoring run by Dwight Giles as Rutgers edged Kentucky 19-18 Saturday night, handing the Wildcats their first loss of the football season.
Cobb’s return came just seconds after Kentucky had taken a 15-12 lead on a 10-yard scoring pass from Kevin Dooley to Charlie Darrington and a two-point conversion on a pass from Dooley to Dee Smith.
Kentucky closed the gap to one point with 6:42 to play on a 37-yard field goal by Joey Worley.
Rutgers never lost the ball after that, although the Wildcats helped them by roughing kicker Carmen Sclafani on a field goal attempt with 1:08 to play in the game. That gave Rutgers a first down and led to their second win in three games.
Sclafani had field goals of 28 and 46 yards and quarterback Scott Erney threw a 29-yard scoring pass to Eric Young to account for Rutgers’ other scores.
Rutgers, whose offense has struggled all season, scored on the first series of the game, driving 63 yards in four plays with Erney hitting Young for the final 29 yards on a crossing pattern which caught the Kentucky defense out of position.
Sclafani, who missed the extra point on the touchdown, stretched the Scarlet Knights’ lead to 9-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter with 28-yard field goal. It capped a 16-play, 78-yard march that lasted 6:30 and was kept alive by a 13-yard scramble near midfield by Erney on a third- and-12 play.
Kentucky, which came into the game averaging 37.5 points per game, finally got on the scoreboard with 2:15 left in the second quarter on a 6-yard keeper by Dooley on a third-and-goal play.
However, a 38-yard kickoff return by Cobb and a 28-yard pass from Erney to Tyrone McQueen on the next play set up a 46-yard field goal by Sclafani just 40 seconds after the Wildcats’ score that gave Rutgers a 12-7 halftime edge.