PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers kicked off the 150th anniversary of college football with a 48-21 win over Massachusetts on Friday night at SHI Stadium, "The Birthplace of College Football." The Scarlet Knights finished the game strong, scoring 41 unanswered points to close out the victory.
Senior quarterback McLane Carter totaled 340 passing yards, throwing two touchdowns. Overall, Carter was 21-for-31 in his first start as a Scarlet Knight.
Sophomore running back Isaih Pacheco recorded a career-high four rushing touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Bo Melton and junior running back Raheem Blackshear added a touchdown each as well. Junior kicker Justin Davidovicz tacked on two field goals in the win.
Junior linebacker Tyshon Fogg led the defense with 11 total tackles, including six solo stops. Junior defensive lineman Elorm Lumor added in a sack, while junior linebacker Olakunle Fatukasiand redshirt freshman linebacker Jamree Kromah teamed up for another. Junior defensive back Tre Avery registered an interception on the night.
Despite UMass jumping out to a 14-point lead, Pacheco put RU on the board with a two-yard rush to make it 14-7 with three minutes to go in the first quarter.
The Minutemen would tack on another touchdown as the seconds ticked down in the opening frame to extend their edge.
The Scarlet Knights came to life in the second quarter, posted 31 unanswered points in the stanza. Less than two minutes into the second quarter, Carter connected with Melton on a 33-yard pass to ignite the scoring.
On RU's following drive, Pacheco kept things rolling with a 57-yard rush to the end zone, evening the count 21-21 with nine minutes until the break.
After a successful 27-yard field goal for Davidovicz made it 24-21, Blackshear joined in on the scoring, reeling in a 28-yard pass from Carter. Pacheco would add his third score of the game with 11 seconds on the clock, sneaking through the UMass defense for two-yard rush.
Rutgers entered halftime with a 38-21 advantage.
Davidovicz opened the third-quarter scoring with a 23-yard field goal, pushing the Rutgers lead to 41-21. The Scarlet Knights defense held the Minutemen scoreless for a second-straight frame to keep control of its advantage.
Pacheco added his fourth touchdown of the day at the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter, rushing for seven yards to expand the Scarlet Knights lead to 48-21.
The UMass offense wouldn't be back on the field for long, as Avery hauled in an interception with eight minutes left in the game. RU's defense held on to keep the final margin locked at 48-21.
Rutgers travels to Iowa for its first road matchup of the year on Saturday, Sept. 7. Kickoff is set for noon ET on FS1.