NCAA Game Summary - Rutgers vs. Washington State|
(Thursday, August 28)
Final Score: Rutgers 41, Washington State 38
Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Paul James ran for 173 yards and three
touchdowns as the Rutgers Scarlet Knights surprised the Washington State
Cougars, 41-38, at CenturyLink Field in the first-ever meeting between the
James ran the ball 29 times for the Scarlet Knights (1-0) as they picked up
their first-ever win against a Pac-12 Conference opponent. Quarterback Gary
Nova converted 16-of-27 passing for 281 yards and two touchdowns, against one
interception. Leonte Carroo reeled in six passes for a game-high 151 yards and
The Cougars (0-1) were paced by Connor Halliday who connected on 40-of-56 for
a staggering 532 yards and five touchdowns, as well as an INT. Vince Mayle
accounted for a game-high 12 catches, leading to 124 yards and a score. The
running game for WSU took a back seat to Halliday as the team generated a
meager six net yards on 14 attempts.
The lackluster rushing attack is nothing new for the Cougars, having averaged
a feeble 53.4 ypg in 2013 to rank last in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
The Knights wasted no time going on the attack as Nova hooked up with Carroo
for a 78-yard touchdown on the very first play from scrimmage, giving the
visitors a 7-0 advantage a mere 16 seconds into the action.
Later in the quarter Nova made a huge mistake, throwing from his own end zone
he was picked off by Tana Pritchard at the 11-yard line. The ball was brought
back to the two, but Rutgers escaped with minimal damage as the Cougars
settled for a 22-yard field goal by Erik Powell, the first of his career.
The teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter, beginning with a one-yard
scoring run by James for the Knights barely two minutes into the frame.
Washington followed about six minutes later with a four-yard TD pass from
Halliday to Isiah Myers, but again it was countered by a 56-yard scoring run
by James for the visitors.
Trailing 21-10 with time winding down, Halliday orchestrated yet another
scoring drive for the Cougars, culminating with a 26-yard TD pass to Mayle to
cut the deficit to just four points at the break.
Halliday continued to attack the Rutgers defense in the third quarter,
combining with River Cracraft and Myers on TD passes of seven and 14 yards,
respectively. However, in between the Knights broke in with a 36-yard field
goal by Kyle Federico.
The Rutgers kicker added a 25-yard field goal moments into the fourth quarter,
while Nova hooked up with John Tsimis on a 29-yard TD pass play shortly
thereafter, giving the visitors a 34-31 edge.
The quick-strike Washington State offense was back at it midway through the
period with Halliday and Rickey Galvin combining on a five-yard TD play,
giving the Cougars the lead once again, but with plenty of time left on the
Matching his career-high for touchdowns in a single game, James bulled his way
into the end zone on a three-yard run to give the Scarlet Knights a three-
point advantage yet again.
The Cougars had a chance to play for the win in the final minute of
regulation, but on 4th-and-13 Halliday's pass over the middle fell incomplete,
giving the ball back to Rutgers.
Last season WSU ranked fourth in the nation in passing with 368.0 ypg, but at
the same time the squad was 112th in the country in stopping opponent passing
attacks, giving up 270.8 ypg.
08/29 02:25:23 ET