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NCAA Game Summary - Rutgers at SMU

(Saturday, October 5)

Final Score: Rutgers 55, SMU 52 (3OT)

Dallas, TX ( - Despite allowing SMU to score 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to force extra sessions, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights managed to outlast the Mustangs in triple overtime, 55-52, in an American Athletic Conference shootout at Ford Stadium.

Justin Goodwin finished with 149 rushing yards, 73 receiving yards and three touchdowns for Rutgers (4-1, 1-0 AAC), including the game-winning 17-yard rushing score in the third extra session. Gary Nova was also outstanding, completing 19-of-33 passes for 283 yards, contributing five touchdowns (one rushing) paired with just one pick. Leonte Carroo (three receptions, 54 yards) had a pair of touchdown catches, both of which came in the overtime periods.

For SMU (1-4, 0-1), Garrett Gilbert completed 45-of-70 passes for a school- record 484 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also added two rushing touchdowns to his historic performance. Benefiting most from Gilbert's outing was Jeremy Johnson, who also had a monster afternoon with 18 receptions for 217 yards and three scores. Darius Joseph tallied 10 catches for 40 yards and a touchdown, while JaBryce Taylor had 94 yards on just three catches.

Rutgers got out to a quick 14-0 lead in the game's first nine minutes. Nova started the scoring by rushing in a one-yard touchdown, then the defense got involved by forcing a fumble deep in SMU territory, with Nadir Barnwell recovering it in the end zone for a score.

The Scarlet Knights made it 21-0 early in the second quarter after Nova hooked up with Goodwin on a 50-yard scoring strike.

SMU put a stop to Rutgers' run midway through the second quarter, as it capped off a nine-play, 75-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Gilbert to Johnson.

The Mustangs continued to chip away at their deficit early in the third quarter. After a Rutgers punt, Gilbert completed a 55-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Holman on the first play of the drive to make it 21-14.

The Scarlet Knights ended the SMU threat less than four minutes later when Nova's 10-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Croft put them back up by two touchdowns. The visitors padded the lead with 1:18 remaining in the third on a two-yard touchdown run by Goodwin.

SMU would not go away quietly, as Gilbert completed a nine-yard touchdown pass to Johnson with 11:08 to play in regulation, but a failed PAT attempt kept its deficit at 15.

The Mustangs inched closer later in the fourth when Gilbert tossed a six-yard touchdown pass to Joseph. After forcing Rutgers to turn the ball over on downs with under three minutes remaining, the home team drove 65 yards in just over a minute, ending with a 13-yard scoring strike from Gilbert to Johnson. After Gilbert completed the two-point conversion attempt to Johnson, the score was tied at 35-35.

Rutgers was driving with a chance to win the game in regulation with under a minute remaining, but Nova fumbled the ball back to SMU. Gilbert managed to move the ball to the Rutgers 47-yard line but ran out of time before the contest went to overtime.

In the first extra session, Gilbert started things off with a three-yard scoring rush, which was answered by Rutgers with a four-yard touchdown pass from Nova to Carroo. Carroo also scored to begin the second overtime, and SMU countered with a one-yard rushing touchdown by Gilbert.

SMU was finally stalled on its third-overtime possession, settling for a 37- yard field goal by Chase Hover. The Scarlet Knights took advantage as Goodwin accounted for 30 rushing yards on the final drive, including the 17-yard game- winning score.

The teams combined for 1,032 total yards on the afternoon. Rutgers was able to overcome a game-high nine penalties by converting 50 percent of its third down attempts (9-of-18).

10/05 17:37:50 ET