PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- At least Rutgers can look forward to the Big Ten.
Needing only a win at home to earn their first Big East title and BCS bowl bid, the Scarlet Knights lost to Louisville, 20-17, Thursday night at High Point Solution Stadium.
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John Wallace booted a 29-yard field with 1:41 to go in the fourth quarter to put Louisville ahead for the second and final time.
The Scarlet Knights had taken a 14-3 lead before giving up two touchdowns in the span of 16 seconds. Said Rutgers coach Kyle Flood, "We have a football team that's hurting. They poured a lot of their lives into this season and they fought extremely hard today. Unfortunately, we didn't do it well enough."
After Wallace's field goal, Rutgers got the ball back and had a first down at its 48 but then had a miscommunication between quarterback Gary Nova and wide receiver Brandon Coleman, who had stopped on the route. Nova's long pass was intercepted at the 18 by Terell Floyd.
"That's my fault. I messed up there," Nova said.
And the Cardinals escaped with an improbable victory over a Rutgers team that looked to be cruising to an easy victory until the third quarter.
The Scarlet Knights led 14-3 in the quarter and appeared to extend their lead to 21-3 after scoring a touchdown on a fake field goal, but an illegal-man- downfield penalty negated the TD. Instead, Rutgers punted.
Late in the third quarter, the game changed dramatically when Louisville scored two touchdowns 16 seconds apart.
Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater scrambled, then shoveled a pass to running back Jeremy Wright, who split two Rutgers defenders for a 14-yard TD with 49 seconds left in the third to make it 14-10.