Rutgers 24, Buffalo 10
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP)—Tres Moses scored on a 66-yard punt return and a 15-yard pass play in the first quarter and Rutgers broke a nine-game losing streak with a season-opening 24-10 victory over Buffalo on Saturday night.
Ryan Hart threw for a career-best 225 yards and a touchdown and freshman Justise Hairston scored on a 6-yard run as Rutgers built a 21-0 halftime lead in sending Buffalo to its 11th straight loss.
Dave Dawson scored on a 76-yard run and Mike Baker kicked a 30-yard field goal for the Bulls.
Rutgers, which only won three games in coach Greg Schiano’s first two seasons, played well in avenging a 34-11 loss to Buffalo last season, the Bulls’ only win.
The Scarlet Knights gained 406 yards in total offense, their highest total since gaining 533 yards against Navy on Oct. 20, 2001.
Moses, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, ignited the Scarlet Knights when he fielded a Dominic Milano punt at the Rutgers 34, sidestepped an initial defender, cut across the field and scored down the left sideline.
Buffalo came right back and drove to the Rutgers 9 before Schiano helped stall the drive by convincing referee Don Amicon to enforce a pass interference call against Buffalo receiver Matt Knueven.
The officials had waved off the call initially because Knueven had stepped out of bounds earlier on the play. Schiano convinced them the receiver still interfered with his defender and they enforced a 15-yard penalty.
After Baker missed a 38-yard field goal attempt, Hart drove Rutgers 80 yards in nine plays. The final 15 yards came on a pass to a wide-open Moses, who had five catches for 47 yards.
The 80-yard drive matched Rutgers’ longest of last season.
Before the half ended, Rutgers topped it, going 91 yards in 13 plays. Hart, who completed 21 of 31 passes, kept the drive alive with a fourth-down pass to fullback Brian Leonard, who made a one-handed catch. Hairston capped the drive with his run.
Buffalo threatened to make it a game in the third quarter, scoring 10 straight points, the last seven coming on the long run by Dawson, who had 125 yards on 14 carries.
However, Rutgers’ defense stiffened the rest of the way, and Ryan Sands added a late 20-yard field goal.