The Rutgers Scarlet Knights recorded a season-opening win over the UMass Minutemen at SHI Stadium in Piscataway on Friday, 48-21.
While Texas Tech graduate transfer QB McLane Carter threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns, the real star of the night was sophomore RB Isaih Pacheco.
Hailing from Vineland, New Jersey, about two hours south of Rutgers’ campus, Pacheco finished with four touchdowns and 156 yards on 20 carries, an extremely impressive 7.8 average.
Considering Pacheco only scored three touchdowns in 2018 and topped 100 yards on just two occasions, this certainly qualifies as a breakout performance.
Pacheco credited his work ethic and mindset for his success.
“The course is just working hard for these last 364 days. It was expected,” Pacheco said. “Just going out there every day, working hard. It’s going to show, it’s going to pay off and that’s where we cash in.”
Having already matched last season’s win total, Friday was much-needed for head coach Chris Ash and his staff. Their Scarlet Knights will have a much more difficult challenge on Saturday, September 7 when they travel to Iowa City to face the No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes.