EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ Bobby Engram caught three touchdowns passes and ran 58 yards with a fumble for another score as No. 6 Penn State won a 59-34 shootout with Rutgers at Giants Stadium Saturday night.
The win, the 20th straight for the Nittany Lions (3-0), had an ugly ending with Rutgers coach Doug Graber yelling at Penn State’s Joe Paterno at the end of the game, probably because of a late touchdown pass.
The two won’t have to see each other in the near future, because this is the last scheduled meeting between the schools, who have played every year since 1982.
This last game raised questions about Paterno’s defense.
Rutgers (1-2) amassed 490 yards in offense behind backup quarterback Robert Higgins, and it wasn’t knocked out of the game until the fourth quarter when Kim Herring scored on a 21-yard pass interception and Engram caught a 16-yard TD pass from Wally Richardson, who was 16-of-26 for 252 yards.
Fullbacks Brian Milne and Jon Witman also scored on runs of 18 and 4 yards for the Nittany Lions, who had a season-high 661 yards.
Rutgers tight end Marco Battaglia had touchdown catches of 17, 35, 4 yards among his school record-tying 13 receptions for 184 yards. Higgins, who replaced Ray Lucas (lacerated left hand) late in the first quarter, was 22-of-38 for 281 yards.
Penn State, which had 605 yards in offense in beating Temple 66-14 last week, scored on its first four possessions to take a 24-7 lead.
Engram, who had 175 yards by matching his career best with eight receptions, got the Nittany Lions going by picking up a fumble by Witman on Penn State’s second offensive play and racing untouched into the end zone. He also caught 47-yard touchdown pass and added a 27-yard TD pass in the third quarter.
Higgins twice rallied Rutgers to within seven points. He hit Battaglia with a 17-yard TD pass just before halftime to cut the lead to 24-17. Then came a 35-yard scoring pass early in the third quarter which made it 31-24.
However, Penn State got a touchdown from Witman and, after a 33-yard field goal by Rutgers’ Nick Mike-Mayer cut the lead to 38-27, Herring came up with his second interception of the game to put it away.