PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Kyle Monangai ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns, leading Rutgers to a 35-16 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday.

Gavin Wimsatt continued his trajectory as a dual-threat quarterback for Rutgers, running for a career-high 87 yards to help the Scarlet Knights get off to a 3-0 start for the third straight season.

The last time Rutgers started three consecutive seasons with three straight wins was from 1959 to 1961.

Next week it will get much tougher for Rutgers, who travel to “The Big House” to face the Michigan Wolverines.

The win snapped a 12-game losing streak against Virginia Tech (1-2). The teams met annually between 1992 and 2003 when they were members of the Big East Conference.

Monangai scored on runs of 19, 55 and 12 yards. Wimsatt ran for a 34-yard score and hit Christian Dremel on a 4-yard TD. He completed 7 of 16 passes for 46 yards.

Named as the starting quarterback after splitting time his first two seasons at Rutgers, Wimsatt has accumulated 407 yards passing and 148 yards rushing and has yet to throw an interception.

Running back Kyle Monangai steps out of the grasp of cornerback Mansoor Delane during the fourth quarter of Rutgers’ 35-16 win over the Hokies.
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Virginia Tech closed to within 21-16 early in the fourth quarter, but Rutgers responded with two touchdowns, both courtesy of Monangai.

The Hokies were without their top wide receiver, Ali Jennings and starting quarterback Grant Wells, who both suffered ankle injuries in their loss to Purdue on September 9th.

Wells was replaced by redshirt sophomore Kyron Drones, who completed 19 of 32 passes for 190 yards and ran for 74 yards on 22 carries in his first career start.

Quarterback Gavin Wimsatt #2 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt
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Rutgers scored on its first offensive play of the game, a 19-yard run from Monangai, that was set up after a Virginia Tech fumble.

The takeaways

Virginia Tech: With Wells sidelined with an ankle injury, Drones made a strong case for taking over at quarterback going forward. He gives the Hokies, who host Marshall next Saturday, another dimension in the RPO with his ability to spread the defense, especially when the play breaks down. Wells is more of a traditional in-the-pocket QB who doesn’t possess Drone’s agility.

Rutgers: Monangai has emerged as one of the elite running backs in the Big Ten Conference. He has rushed for 351 yards in three games with five TDs.