Paulie Fricano FG leads Eastern Michigan to its biggest in-season win
Tom Canavan, AP Sports Writer
8:00 PM, Sep 9, 2017
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Paulie Fricano kicked a go-ahead 24-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and Eastern Michigan made two late defensive stands in posting its biggest regular-season victory with a 16-13 decision over Rutgers Saturday.
It was the first win for the Eagles (2-0) against a Big Ten Conference foe in 39 overall games and their first win against a Power-5 school in 59 overall games. Their only other major win was a 30-27 victory over San Jose State in the California Bowl in 1987.
This was 11th straight loss for Rutgers (0-2) and it had to hurt after it played well against then No. 8 Washington last week.
Brogan Roback passed for 260 yards and threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Antoine Porter. Fricano, who tied his single-game high with three field goals, also hit from 33 and 21 yards, the latter tying the game at 13 with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
Rutgers got field goals of 25 and 39 yards from Andrew Harte and a go-ahead 23-yard touchdown run by Gus Edwards with 6:07 left in the third quarter for a 13-10 lead.
Roback, who was 19 of 36, then led Eastern Michigan on scoring drives of 72 and 77 yards to set up Fricano's last two field goals.
Rutgers wasn't done though.
Starting at their own 7, Kyle Bolin hit Janarion Grant on passes of 8, 10, 22 and 7 yards to help the Scarlet Knights reached the Eastern Michigan 27. On third-and-3 from the 27, Brody Hoying stepped in front of a Bolin pass and returned the interception 71 yards to the Rutgers 5.
The Scarlet Knights held and blocked a 33-yard goal attempt by Fricano with 1:34 to go.
Passes of 33 and 9 yards to Damon Mitchell and a personal foul for roughing the passer got Rutgers to the Eagles 25 with 18 seconds to play.
However, Rutgers was penalized 15 yards for illegal hands to the face that pushed the ball back to the 40 and Bolin (17 of 37 for 198) was sacked on the final play.
Eastern Michigan: This is Eastern Michigan's first 2-0 start since 2011.
Rutgers: Despite having Morgan State at home next week, the Scarlet Knights are looking at another long season after a 2-10 mark in Chris Ash's first year.
Eastern Michigan plays host to Ohio on Sept. 23.
Rutgers plays host to Morgan State on Sept. 16.