PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Paul James ran for 119 yards and three touchdowns and Rutgers defeated Norfolk State 38-0 on Saturday in its annual blowout against a Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference opponent.
James, who rushed for 182 yards in an overtime loss to Fresno State last week, scored on runs of 1, 10 and 25 yards for the Scarlet Knights (1-1).
Rutgers' defense, which gave up 52 points in the season opener, limited Norfolk State (0-2) to 133 yards and set up two touchdowns with turnovers against its Football Championship Subdivision foe. The Scarlet Knights piled up 423 yards.
Norfolk State has been outscored 128-0 in three games against Rutgers since 2007.
This one was pretty much over by the end of the first quarter as Rutgers took a 21-0 lead, scoring on three of its five series. The domination was so great in the first 15 minutes that only two plays were run in Scarlet Knights' territory.
Quron Pratt got Rutgers, a Football Bowl Subdivision school, going by blocking a Dalton Fraser punt from the Spartans 41 on the second series. Anthony Cioffi recovered and advanced the ball to the 15. James walked into the end zone five plays later.
Linebacker Steve Longa forced and recovered a fumble by Rolandan Finch at the Norfolk 19 on the next series. Nova (12 of 21 for 150 yards and an interception) hit Peele for a second touchdown in less than two minutes.
A third-down punt from the 1 by quarterback Malik Stokes gave Rutgers the ball at Spartans 33 late in the quarter and James scored from 10 yards out on his fourth consecutive carry for a 21-0 lead.
An interception of Stokes by Jamal Merrell at the Norfolk State 30 early in the third quarter and a 17-yard pass from Nova to Peele on third down set up Huggins' touchdown.
James broke the 100-yard mark rushing and scored his last touchdown on the Scarlet Knights next series, circling to the left and outracing the defense into the end zone.
Kyle Federico added a 24-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
The last Rutgers player to rush for three touchdowns in a game was Jourdan Brooks in 2009 against Howard, another MEAC team.
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After surviving the Les Miles telenovela, which landed LSU's big cigars at No. 5, we're left to ponder who can claim the Bottom 10 title.
Stanford will need to beat USC and hope for a lot of upsets this weekend in order for the Cardinal to sneak into the playoff.
The Tar Heels could benefit greatly from winning the ACC title as the playoff committee showed its willingness to reward conference champs last year.
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The committee kept its top five the same but kept North Carolina behind multiple two-loss teams. How would all the New Year's Six games look if the season ended today?
College Football Playoff committee chair Jeff Long breaks down what teams need to do in order to state their case for the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings.
|North Carolina A&T||7-1||9-2|
|North Carolina Central||7-1||8-3|
|South Carolina State||6-2||7-4|