Paul James ran for 173 yards and his third touchdown run with 3:24 left gave Rutgers a wild 41-38 victory over Washington State on Thursday night in the Scarlet Knights' first game as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
Gary Nova threw a 78-yard touchdown to Leonte Carroo on the first play from scrimmage and Rutgers withstood a passing onslaught from Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday.
Rutgers won its season opener for the sixth time in nine years and picked up a significant road victory with a challenging Big Ten slate ahead. Meanwhile Washington State has just one victory in its last nine season openers.
Halliday did his part. The senior completed 40 of 56 passes for 532 yards and five touchdowns, but his fourth-down pass for River Cracraft near midfield with 53 seconds left was batted away.