Upon Further Review: RU vs. Tulane Analysis

The frustration and disbelief from Rutgers' 17-14 homecoming loss to Tulane should be dissipating by now, which gives time for a much clearer look at what really transpired in the game, and why. ScarletReport.com's "Upon Further Review" feature takes a look at some of the finer points of what took place, where the slow-down tape of the gives an indication of what went right, and what went wrong.

Watching the game live is one thing, and presents a real-time look at what is happening on the field.

However, pop on the game tape and you may see something different, or further validation of what your eye thought it saw while watching live.

After each Rutgers game, ScarletReport.com will take a look at a slowed-down, rewound version of what took place on the field.

The 17-14 loss to Tulane on homecoming showed Rutgers' offensive line still cannot recognize blitz pickups quickly, the defensive line is stout against the run and opposing quarterbacks are throwing away from David Rowe.

What To Like

  • The blocks by tight ends Fabian Ruiz and D.C. Jefferson on Mohamed Sanu's 91-yard touchdown run. Not only did both seal off a running lane, but they held onto the blocks and gave Sanu a huge crease to get through before receiver Jeremy Deering gave him the needed room with a down field block.

    Mohamed Sanu
  • The play of cornerback David Rowe. Tulane threw in his direction twice. The first one resulted in the short completion, and the second one was batted down at the line of scrimmage. Other than that, the Green Wave stayed away from throwing to Rowe's side.

  • Sanu's ability to run in the Wildcat and find space even when it may not exist.
  • Running back Jordan Thomas' toughness running the ball. He lowered his shoulder several times and moved piles and gained extra yards with his tenacity.

  • Running back Kordell Young's blitz pick-up on Chas Dodd's 10-yard touchdown pass to Sanu. If not for that, Dodd doesn't get the ball off.

  • The creativity in a few of the play calls, like Dodd pump-faking a swing pass to Thomas before throwing to Jeremy Deering for a big play over the middle in the fourth quarter.

    What To Work On

  • The blocking up front, particularly on the right side of the offensive line. On the first play from scrimmage, which Rutgers threw long on, right tackle Art Forst was beaten to the inside, which caused Tom Savage to have to step up in the pocket and deliver the ball deep down field rather than look other places.

    Art Forst
  • The false start by Antwan Lowery on a third-and-2 followed by a Rutgers timeout when a play couldn't get called.

  • The holding call on Rutgers' Marcus Cooper that nullified Joe Lefeged's kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter. It's tough to find one, and it could have changed the game and gave Rutgers a 14-3 lead.

  • Rutgers' ability to pick up blitzes, especially delayed blitzed. During a second-quarter blitz, two Tulane defenders came through the middle. Running back Kordell Young picked up one, but the other came through clean for an open shot at quarterback Tom Savage.

    It happened time and again throughout the game as the Green Wave was able to get into the backfield by overwhelming the offensive line with blitzes.

  • The possible overuse of Sanu. A play after he ran sideline-to-sideline (about 60 yards) for a 3-yard gain, he ran a deep route down the left side line. Chas Dodd threw a perfect pass, but it went off Sanu's finger tips.

    Even on Sanu's 10-yard touchdown catch, it came after Sanu ran out of the Wildcat three straight plays.

    Young being blamed for a chop-block with 1:15 left in the second quarter. It was his block, but only came about because Desmond Wynn reached back and grabbed the Tulane player's shoulder after Young committed to a cut block. With Wynn engaged in the top, it turned into a chop block.

  • The lack of adjustment by receiver Mark Harrison when Dodd under threw him on a post pattern. True, Harrison was open and Dodd's pass didn't get deep enough, but Harrison should have caught the ball.

  • The lack of reaction to Tulane's trick play throwback to quarterback Joe Kemp. The only two players not to get sucked in where defensive end Jonathan Freeny and safety Joe Lefeged, and that is because they were both in coverage in the end zone and didn't' see what was developing.

  • The lack of urgency in getting plays in and the offense up to the line of scrimmage in the fourth quarter as Rutgers tried to overcome a three-point deficit. Too many times the ball was not snapped until a few seconds remained on the play clock.

  • Teddy Dellaganna's punting. Both of Tulane's scores came after 20-yard punts, and on a team that struggles for offense and points, special teams cannot add to the problems.

    RT Chas Dodd
    Not To Worry

  • About a few of the poorly thrown passes by freshman quarterback Chas Dodd. If he gets most of the snaps in practice, that should iron itself out because he showed in the game he had the mental capacity to move in and play well, and he made several nice plays.

    Dodd wasn't afraid to zip balls into coverage and even when not making the best of throws, he was going to the correct receiver.

    Keeping Perspective

    Joe Martinek
  • For everyone who believes the Wildcat has run its course, perhaps it is time to think again. Not only did the Wildcat produce the best run of the season, Sanu's 91-yard score, but also was more effective than the conventional running game against Tulane.

    Out of the pro-set offense, the running game accounted for 25 yards on nine carries (Joe Martinek 4 carries, 9 yards), which is an average of 2.78 yards per attempt. Out of the Wildcat and eliminating the 91-yard run, Rutgers ran 13 times for 39 yards, which is a 3.0 average.


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