1. Lumbering Lowery
Antwan Lowery started at left guard and made an impact early when he was down field making a block on a screen pass to Jawan Jamison. It was Lowery's block that allowed Jamison to get a first down, and it showed the big guy could get down the field to get involved.
2. Nova's new decisions
Take care of the ball and Rutgers defense should be good enough to produce wins, and several times quarterback Gary Nova showed increased awareness over a year ago when he threw balls away. Be it out of the end zone or to the sideline, Nova made several throws to avoid a sack and not force a pass.
3. Safety squeeze
Rutgers attacked the right side of Tulane's offensive line the first half with blitzes off the edge, including one by safety Lorenzo Waters, who registered a sack. It was a gamble defensive coordinator Robb Smith was willing to take since Tulane didn't have a deep threat at the receiver position.
4. Lost in space
On the first play of the second quarterback linebacker Kevin Snyder was in position to make a tackle on a dump off pass to the running back, but he took a bad angle. Instead of being able to make the tackle for a minimal gain, Tulane picked up 10 yards on the play.
5. Civil liberty
Jawan Jamison's 45-touchdown run would not have been possible if not for an outstanding pull and block by right guard Andre Civil. He fired out quick, located the linebacker and made a crushing block, which allowed Jamison to slide through the hole and break into the secondary.
6. Halftime adjustment
One of Tulane's halftime adjustments was to go away from the run but keep the ball in the running backs' hands via the short pass. Be it dump offs, swing passes or screens, Tulane was effective by getting the ball to the running backs away from Rutgers' dominant defensive tackles.
7. Cover issues
Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene was outstanding with plays in front of him and running sideline to sideline, but one of the reasons Tulane had success on third down was coverage issues. Greene was beat several times on third-and-long, although part of it was a scheme issue. On a third-and-17 in the first half Greene was covering receiver Ryan Grant down the seam.
8. Pushing the agenda Rutgers' defensive line in the first half was dominant as Tulane's offensive line could not handle the Scarlet Knights' quickness off the snap nor their ability to use their hands. Time and again Rutgers used its quick hands to get off blocks and make tackles.
9. Special teams
Rutgers coverage units had plenty of starters on them, but an interesting member on the cover units was Jeremy Deering. It is another step in getting him into a defensive mindset and allowing him to be involved in tackles while he gets more comfortable playing safety in addition to receiver.
10. Communication breakdown
Several times Nova and his receivers were not on the same page. A first-half pass to Brandon Coleman in the end zone was over the wrong shoulder, and later in the game Miles Shuler ran an out and Nova threw a corner post.