MIAMI -- Mohamed Sanu threw for one touchdown and ran for another and Joe Lefeged had a career night on defense to help Rutgers overcome sluggish play and beat Florida International 19-14 on Saturday night.
Sanu scored the game-winning touchdown with 13:07 left in the game while Lefeged, Rutgers' starting strong safety, had an interception, forced two fumbles and blocked two punts.
Sanu lined up as the "wildcat" quarterback and rushed for a 24-yard score that erased a 14-13 FIU lead. He finished the game with only 45 yards rushing on nine carries but was also pivotal in getting Rutgers into the end zone before halftime.
With 5:23 to go in the second quarter, Sanu threw a 24-yard touchdown to D.C. Jefferson on fourth-and-2, giving the Scarlet Knights (2-0) a 10-7 lead.
That play came four plays after Lefeged intercepted FIU quarterback Wesley Carroll and returned the ball to the FIU 32-yard line.
Carroll debuted for the Panthers (0-1) after transferring from Mississippi State two years ago. He threw an interception on his first play but settled down and went 12-for-22 for 166 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Carroll threw a screen to Wayne Times that resulted in a 28-yard touchdown and gave FIU a 7-3 lead with 1:41 to go in the first quarter. FIU took the lead again with 13:16 left in the third quarter when Carroll threw a fade into the right end zone to Jeremiah Harden for a 17-yard score.
The Panthers had 371 yards of offense to Rutgers' 172 yards, but FIU had five turnovers in the game and tallied 14 penalties for 126 yards.