Upon Further Review: RU vs. UNC Analysis

Rutgers dropped a tough 24-22 decision at North Carolina, and it looked like the offensive line had the same troubles as a year ago. But so much more went into the outcome than just that, and ScarletReport.com breaks it down for you. From the bright spots to the areas of concern, check out what the review of the game showed.

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 in the 24-22 loss to North Carolina.

What To Like

  • The activity of the defensive line, and the depth.

    Defensive end Manny Abreu was active and played fast along the line of scrimmage, interior defensive linemen Scott Vallone, Kenneth Kirksey and Justin Francis were disruptive time and again in getting penetration, and also pursuing the play.

  • The defensive game plan. It was filled with risks, but ones that paid off.

    Coach Greg Schiano returned to calling the defensive plays, mixed blitzes very well by overloading areas and pressuring quarterback Bryn Rrenner.

  • Weakside linebacker Khaseem Greene's speed and ability to read the play. Not only did he pursue from behind and force turnovers, but he was involved in a lot of plays and was a very sure tackler.

  • The switching of schemes, which resulted in Wayne Warren's interception at the end of the first half. It was set up when Vallone, a defensive tackle, dropped into zone coverage and deflected the pass.

  • Offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti's play-calling. It was not predictable, and he mixed in a few screen passes to help alleviate pressure on quarterback Chas Dodd. In one instance, UNC countered by dropping eight guys into coverage, but the idea was planted in the Tar Heels' head to be aware, and perhaps not as aggressive moving up the field.

  • Dodd's ability to take a hit to complete a pass. He knew he was going to get hit hard on several throws, but stayed in there and took hits.

    What To Work On

    • North Carolina's first touchdown was simply nothing more than cornerback Logan Ryan getting at the line of scrimmage by receiver Dwight Jones. He was beaten three steps into the play and couldn't make up the ground, and the safety help was late.

      Coaches always talk about everyone needing to do their job on offense for a play to work, and that was evident on Rutgers' first play. Running back Jeremy Deering had running room to the left, but Andre Civil whiffed on a block and a big gain turned into a 3-yard loss.

    • On third-and-13 on the first drive, fullback Joe Martinek helped to double team a North Carolina player instead of picking up a blitzer, who hit quarterback Chas Dodd as he threw.

    • It isn't always on the offensive line, and such was the case on a 2-yard game by De'Antwan Williams midway through the first quarter. If Williams bounced the run outside, it was open for a huge gain.

    • On fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, tight end D.C. Jefferson was pushed back along the line of scrimmage and to the point of attack where the Tar Heels' defense stopped Williams.

      Not To Worry

    • The offensive line. There is improvement made from last season, and if the running backs saw all the holes, the running backs picked up all the blitzes (two of the sacks were on the offensive line) and Dodd got rid of the ball on time on a few plays, it would have been a much more productive offensive game.
      It's not say the offensive line was great, but it was better than the offensive production showed.

      Keeping Perspective

    • Freshman running back Savon Huggins is still really good, and keep in mind part of the reason he ran for zero yards was he fumbled and lost six yards on one play. He is getting his bearings, and trying to find his groove. He still possesses excellent balance, vision and toughness, and by the end of the season he will look like a different player.

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