Rutgers 51

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Fresno State 52

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: ESPNU

10:30 PM ET, August 29, 2013

Bulldog Stadium (CA), Fresno, CA

1 2 3 4 OT T
RUTG 10 10 11 14 651
FRES 7 14 7 17 752

Top Performers

Passing: D. Carr (SOU) - 456 YDS, 5 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: P. James (RUTG) - 22 CAR, 182 YDS

Receiving: D. Adams (FRES) - 14 REC, 148 YDS, 2 TD

Derek Carr has 5th TD, defense holds on for Fresno State in OT news services

FRESNO, Calif. -- As soon as Rutgers' 2-point attempt tipped off Brandon Coleman's finger tips and fell to the ground, Derek Carr fell to his knees in relief.

His emotional month ended with a memorable win.

Carr threw his fifth touchdown pass on the opening play of overtime and Fresno State stopped the 2-point try on the next possession to beat Rutgers 52-51 in the season opener Thursday night.

"It's the craziest game I've ever been a part of," Carr said.

The victory came two days after Carr's son, Dallas, finally got to come home after spending his first three weeks in neonatal intensive care because of digestive tract defects. Carr spent much of fall camp shuttling between the practice field and the hospital, not telling teammates of his family's ordeal until his son made it home healthy.

"I was overcome with emotion," Carr said about his postgame reaction. "I think my son made me soft. I balled my eyes out."

After Kyle Federico missed a 43-yard field goal on the final play of regulation for the Scarlet Knights, Carr capitalized right away by lobbing a 25-yard pass to Greg Watson to give the Bulldogs the lead.

Gary Nova answered with his fifth TD pass of the game to Coleman. But coach Kyle Flood opted to go for the win, and Nova's pass tipped off Coleman's finger tips to end the game.

"We had the ball in the hands of two of our better players," Flood said. "It was just a little bit off his finger tips and a little bit too wide, whatever you want to say. Ultimately, I'll be judged by those decisions but I don't regret it. With both those players, I'd do it again if I had the opportunity."

Carr completed 52 of 73 passes for 456 yards to start his senior season off with a win. He focused mostly on three receivers with Davante Adams and Josh Harper each catching 14 passes and Isaiah Burse adding 13.

Nova threw for 348 yards, Paul James ran for 182 yards and freshman Janarion Grant returned a kick 100 yards for a score the first time he touched the ball in college, but it wasn't enough to beat Carr and the Bulldogs.

The game went to overtime only after Federico missed a 43-yard field goal wide right on the final play of a roller-coaster fourth quarter that featured four touchdown passes, one made field goal and a sequence of three turnovers in three plays.

"It was a 15-round fight," Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter said. "Both heavyweights were throwing haymakers and landing them. I'm just happy that we got up every single time."

Nova threw two TD passes, including a go-ahead 30-yarder to Leonte Carroo with 1:18 remaining. But Carr answered that with his second touchdown pass of the quarter when he threw a 2-yarder to Harper with 38 seconds left.

Instead of playing for overtime, Rutgers came out throwing and Nova completed four passes to move the ball to the 26 to set up a potential winning kick. But after making his first three kicks of the game, Federico missed at a crucial time.

"We've got to learn how to finish drives early in the game and put good teams like Fresno away," Coleman said. "They were one point better than us tonight."

Rutgers used two long runs by James in the third quarter to set up a pair of scores that gave the Scarlet Knights a 31-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Fresno State started fast by taking the opening kickoff and driving 74 yards for a score when Josh Quezada ran it in on fourth-and-1 from the 3.

Rutgers responded with 20 straight points with Grant's kickoff return and a 69-yard TD pass from Nova to Carroo.

The Scarlet Knights looked ready to take control when Carr appeared to lose a fumble on a shotgun snap in his own territory. But the call was overturned on replay because Carr briefly had possession with his knee down.

The Bulldogs took advantage of the call when Grant muffed a punt at his own 41, setting up Malique Micenheimer's 1-yard run. Fresno State took a 21-20 lead when Carr found Adams for a 2-yard score with a second left in the half.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2233
Total Yards543537
3rd Down Conversions3-145-18
4th Down Conversions2-22-2

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

TD12:06Josh Quezada 3 Yd Run. (Colin Mcguire Kick) 07
TD11:53Janarion Grant 100 Yd Kickoff Return. (Kyle Federico Kick) 77
FG07:31Kyle Federico 48 Yd 107
TD14:30Leonte Carroo 69 Yd Pass From Gary Nova. (Kyle Federico Kick) 177
FG08:20Kyle Federico 29 Yd 207
TD04:17Malique Micenheimer 1 Yd Run. (Colin Mcguire Kick) 2014
TD00:01Davante Adams 2 Yd Pass From Derek Carr. (Colin Mcguire Kick) 2021
FG09:48Kyle Federico 18 Yd 2321
TD07:43Josh Harper 11 Yd Pass From Derek Carr. (Colin Mcguire Kick) 2328
TD00:40Brandon Coleman 1 Yd Pass From Gary Nova. (Gary Nova Run For Two-Point Conversion) 3128
TD11:08Davante Adams 20 Yd Pass From Derek Carr. (Colin Mcguire Kick) 3135
TD05:32Leonte Carroo 13 Yd Pass From Gary Nova. (Kyle Federico Kick) 3835
FG03:48Colin McGuire 47 Yd 3838
TD01:18Leonte Carroo 30 Yd Pass From Gary Nova. (Kyle Federico Kick) 4538
TD00:38Josh Harper 2 Yd Pass From Derek Carr. (Colin Mcguire Kick) 4545
TDGreg Watson 25 Yd Pass From Derek Carr. (Colin Mcguire Kick) 4552
TDBrandon Coleman 4 Yd Pass From Gary Nova. (Two-Point Conversion Failed) 5152