Rutgers running back Paul James is out for the season with a torn ligament in his right knee sustained Saturday in the Scarlet Knights’ victory at Navy (AP, Sept. 21).
James was Rutgers’ leading rusher this season and had 96 yards and a touchdown on seven carries Saturday before a Navy player’s helmet hit his knee.
It’s the second straight season James has been injured. He broke his fibula against Arkansas last season and missed the next four games. Flood will now turn to RBs Justin Goodwin (104 yards Saturday) Desmon Peoples (82).
Flood also announced safety Delon Stephenson is questionable for Saturday’s Tulane game with a “lower-body injury.”
Paul James left Saturday’s 31-24 win over Navy with an apparent knee injury (NJ.com, Sept. 20) and for the second straight year could miss time with an injury.
Rutgers coach Kyle Flood is concerned about the right knee (Sargeant, Sept. 20) that was hit with a helmet. James was in crutches after the game.
“I don’t know if we’ll really know until tomorrow when he gets looked at,” Flood said. “I am (concerned). P.J. has been one of our better players over the last two years.”
Last year, James rushed for 881 yards and nine touchdowns despite missing four games with a broken fibula.
Result: The Scarlet Knights held on to defeat the Midshipmen Saturday in Annapolis, Md.
Need to Know: Rutgers QB Gary Nova had two short touchdown runs and didn’t throw an interception a week after getting picked off five times against Penn State. . .the Knights’ Justin Goodwin ran for 104 yards and a touchdown. . .At one point the Knights scored on five straight possessions (4 TD, 1 FG) . . .RB Paul James and DB Delon Stephenson left with injuries and did not return. James (94 yards on 7 carries, 1 TD) left the field on crutches. . Rutgers (3-1) led 24-14 at the half after outgaining Navy 297-187. . .Navy passed for more yards (232) than it ran for (177). It was the first time the Mids did that since 2012 against San Jose State — Navy’s last home loss before Saturday.
Game ball: Nova (11-for-15 passing, 151 yards, no interceptions; 3 carries for 3 yards, 2 TDs).
Links: AP recap | Box score
What’s Next: The Scarlet Knights host Tulane next Saturday at noon.
GEICO SportsNite checks in with Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood and the team’s players, who discuss preparations for playing Navy on Saturday.
Result: The Scarlet Knights lost to the Nittany Lions Saturday at High Point Solutions Stadium in Rutgers’ Big Ten Conference debut.
Need to Know: Rutgers (2-1, 0-1 Big Ten) couldn’t overcome QB Gary Nova’s five interceptions. Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg led an 80-yard TD drive late in the fourth quarter. Bill Belton’s 5-yard run with 1:13 left capped the drive for the Nittany Lions (3-0, 1-0). The key play was a 53-yard pass from Hackenberg to Geno Lewis. Nova threw his final interception on Rutgers’ next possession. .. Defense and special teams nearly saved the Knights. Rutgers held Penn State to 100 yards in the first half and blocked a punt and a field goal. The Knights have blocked 39 kicks since 2009, tops in the nation. . . Jason McCourty replaced Ray Rice in the montage of former Rutgers players in the NFL shown between the first and second quarters. . . .The crowd of 53,774 set a stadium record.
Game ball: Hackenberg (24-for-43, 287 yards, 1 interception, 0 TD)
Links: AP recap | Box score
What’s Next: The Scarlet Knights visit Navy Sept. 20 (3:30 p.m.)
For two years, the big question about Rutgers football has been how competitive the Scarlet Knights will be in the Big Ten.
Saturday night at 8, they’ll start providing answers when they host Penn State at High Point Solutions Stadium in their first game in their new, prestigious conference (AP, Sept. 12).
Both teams are 2-0. Bur in terms of tradition and on-field success, Penn State is far ahead of the Knights, whose invitation had more to do with New Jersey’s population and demographics. The game is on the Big Ten Network, an already profitable channel expected to benefit greatly by expanding into the Garden State.
“I think we just need to come out and play our game and show the world what we can do because a lot of people were writing us off at the beginning of the year,” said Rutgers tight end Tyler Kroft from Downingtown, Pa. “I guess we’re starting to get a little more attention now being 2-0 and heading into the Big Ten, but I think we need to come out and play how we can play: fast and physical. Show the world that we belong here and we’re going to be a staple in the Big Ten.”
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Rutgers’ football coach Kyle Flood has agreed to a two-year contract extension, the school announced.
“Kyle Flood is a tremendous coach for our football team and has earned the opportunity to lead us into the Big Ten and build on our program successes. With the generosity of private funding, we are pleased to invest in our Head Coach and our entire staff at a level more consistent with our Big Ten peers,” Rutgers Athletic Director Julie Hermann said in a release.
His contract with Rutgers now runs through 2019, and includes a pay raise starting in 2015.
“Coach Flood exemplifies our university’s standards and values both on and off the field,” Rutgers University President Robert Barchi said. “He has put together a strong coaching staff that supports our mission to compete well both in the classroom and on the field.”
Flood currently owns a 17-11 overall record, a Top 10 APR ranking and has led Rutgers to two straight bowl appearances. He was named the 2012 Big East Coach of The Year in his first season as head coach, the Scarlet Knights earned a share of the 2012 Big East title, the first championship in program history.
Flood is the first coach in school history to lead the Scarlet Knights to bowl games in each of his first two years as head coach.