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Game 4 Recap: Rutgers wins with a strong running game

The Scarlet Knights rush for for 284 yards in a win over the Midshipmen.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It's never quite the way you think it'll turn out.

That was the story in Annapolis, as Rutgers beat Navy at their own game on Saturday, outrushing the Midshipmen 284 yards to 171. The Scarlet Knights employed a three-headed rushing attack composed of Paul James, Justin Goodwin, and Desmon Peoples. It was an incredibly balanced day for all three, as James ran for 96 yards, Goodwin for 104, and Peoples for 82. Goodwin and Peoples made the most of an injury to Paul James, who will need medical tests on Sunday to determine the severity of a right knee injury.

After what looked like a team suffering from a hangover after last weekend, Rutgers was able to right the ship. Paul James had two early fumbles in the first quarter, and the defense looked as if they were going to be stampeded by the Navy triple-option. However, RU made adjustments on both sides of the ball, as the offensive line was able to get a dominating push at the line of scrimmage, and the defense neutralized the running game.

The secondary still needs some work. Navy, which entered the matchup with the least passing yards in the nation, found several open holes in the Rutgers defensive backfield, and Joe Rossi's unit came up lucky more than a few times as Navy dropped completions on key drives. The pass rush came through late in the fourth, stopping a goal-to-go opportunity for Keenan Reynolds.

Gary Nova finished with no turnovers as the Scarlet Knights won in Annapolis, ending Navy's eight-game home winning streak. Next week, RU hosts a Tulane team that spoiled homecoming four years ago.