The final bit of business from the last game to end on the first night of the college football season came about 11 1/2 hours after Fresno State beat Rutgers 52-51 in overtime.
An email from Fresno State notified the media that Derek Carr’s stats had changed. Turns out the senior had been credited with one too many completions during his record breaking performance. Instead of 53 for 74 for 470 yards, he actually was 52 for 73 for 456 yards.
Finally, the book is closed on the Bulldogs and Scarlet Knights.
The game took 4 hours, 26 minutes, and was set to go even longer when Rutgers answered the Bulldogs’ overtime touchdown with one of its own.
Instead of kicking for the tie, Rutgers went for 2 and failed.
The weary Bulldogs got to celebrate. The dejected Scarlet Knights took a quiet cross-country flight home to New Jersey. They arrived at about 10:45 a.m EDT. Officially, the game end at 3:02 EDT, with a pass from Gary Nova that went off the fingers of Rutgers star receiver Brandon Coleman.
“It was a long physical football game for both teams,” Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said on a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon.
Flood’s decisive decision put a capper on a game that is in the early running for one of the best of the season. It’ll certainly go down as one of the most entertaining.
Carr set Mountain West Conference records for passes attempted and completed. Davante Adams and Josh Harper each caught 14 passes. Isaiah Burse had 13 receptions.
“It’s the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of,” Carr said after the game.
It had been an emotional week for Carr, whose newborn 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 even telling his teammates until his son made it home healthy.
Nova threw for 348 yards and five touchdowns, 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 for Rutgers.
Flood said after watching the film, he was comfortable with the play called.
“You don’t want to put the team in jeopardy because of the play calling,” he said.
Nova sprinted out to his right and tried to hit Coleman near the front corner of the end zone. He said Fresno State defended the play OK, but the Scarlet Knights had the opening they wanted. The execution was just a little off.
Rutgers also had a chance to win it at the end of regulation, but Kyle Federico missed a 43-yard field goal attempt wide right.
Now both teams have some much-needed extra time off before their next games.
Fresno State plays FCS Cal Poly and Rutgers is home for FCS Norfolk State.