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Rutgers has first 300-yard passer since 2015, matches 2018 win total in beating UMass

In what amounts to a must-win season for the head coach, Chris Ash got off on a much-needed winning foot in the opener.

It started a little wobbly for Rutgers early on, though, as the Big Ten school trailed football independent UMass -- they were 4-8 and parted ways with its head coach last season for those keeping track at home -- by the score of 14-0 less than six minutes in and 21-7 at the end of the first quarter. Thanks in very, very large part to a 31-point second-quarter explosion, however, the Scarlet Knights ultimately cruised their way to a 48-21 win over the Minutemen.

The win snapped an 11-game losing streak for Rutgers, with their last victory coming against Texas State in the 2018 opener exactly 363 days ago.

A major player in snapping the lengthy losing streak was Texas Tech transfer McLane Carter, who passed for 340 yards in his Scarlet Knights debut. Not only were his 268 first-half passing yards more than any RU quarterback had in an entire game in 2018...

... Carter also accounted for the football program’s first 300-yard passing performance since Chris Laviano in October of 2015 when he hung 386 on Indiana.

Additionally, the 48 points scored are Rutgers’ most against an FBS school since that 2015 Indiana game, a 55-52 Scarlet Knights win. Last season, RU’s high-water mark in points was the 35 they put up in the opener; they didn’t score more than 17 points the remainder of the season, and scored 10 or fewer in five of those last 11 games.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Isaih Pacheco, who accounted for 156 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 20 carries. The four touchdowns on the ground are the most for an RU player since Ray Rice in the International Bowl following the 2007 regular season.