PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers coach Kyle Flood shrugged off Washington State's big passing numbers in the Scarlet Knights' opening victory.
Rutgers gave up 532 yards through the air, but little else Thursday night in its 41-38 victory in Seattle.
"I think that style of offense — there's a lack of priority or emphasis on the run game — the passing yards are going to be inflated," Flood said Friday. "That's just the reality. I think you see that all around the country with that style of offense."
Paul James ran for 173 yards and scored his third touchdown with 3:24 left to give Rutgers the victory. Gary Nova threw a 78-yard touchdown pass to Leonte Carroo on the first play from scrimmage and Rutgers withstood the passing onslaught from Connor Halliday.
Halliday completed 40 of 56 passes for the 532 yards and five touchdowns, but his fourth-down pass for River Cracraft near midfield with 53 seconds left was batted away.
Nova was 16 of 27 for 281 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and the Scarlet Knights rode James and the run game. James had 113 yards rushing in the first half and touchdown runs of 1 and 56 yards as Rutgers built a 21-10 lead.
Last year, Rutgers allowed a school-record 4,580 passing yards.
"Do I think we can play better in the secondary? I do," Flood said. "Do I think in some ways did we make some improvements from last year? I think we did. I think that's a very explosive offense we played against, but I did see us make some plays on the ball that we didn't make last year."
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