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.
After a poor offensive showing in the first half, Rutgers scored 35 points in the second half to beat Templ 35-0, but it was far more than just two oxymoronic halves.
- The maturity and understanding of the offense by quarterback Gary Nova should not be understated.
Yes, he missed getting the ball to running back Jawan Jamison on a handoff out of his own end zone, but he minimized the damage by throwing the ball away with his left hand while staying calm and collected during it.
On the touchdown to Tim Wright in the third quarter, and used a shoulder fake to get the safety to run to the other side of the field to help cover Brandon Coleman, then threw to Wright in 1-on-1 coverage on the left side of the field.
- The play of the special teams, even beyond the blocked punt by Leonte Carroo. Rutgers' coverage was tremendous, and Anthony DiPaula's kickoffs were directionally sound, even if one was curiously ruled out of bounds when it appeared to go over the pylon. Not getting touchbacks was minimized by fantastic kickoff coverage.
- Challenging Temple's offense to throw the ball was a design that worked well. At times, Rutgers had nine players in the box and it resulted in negative or no yardage for the Owls. Defensive coordinator Robb Smith also did a nice job of changing defenses, at one point in the first half using three defensive linemen and shifting them in tight at the last moment so the Scarlet Knights could blitz off each edge.
- Jamison looked like his old self after a sub-par game against Syracuse. He was decisive in making reads, used the cut-back find holes on several runs and showed a very good burst through holes.
- Nova's ability to recognize where blitzes were coming from and attack the area was important. He connected with Jamison on a wheel route doing just that, and it resulted in a big play.
- The use of the screen play was huge to help alleviate pressure Temple was trying to put on Nova. The blockers were down the field and getting the ball in Jamison's hands in space is always a good thing. Also, Jamison got plenty of love for making two Owls miss on his screen pass for a score, but Jefferson and Wright had great blocks down the field to allow him to get in the end zone.
What To Work On
- First half intensity and focus on defense. The difference between the Scarlet Knights defense in the first half and second half was nothing more than better tackling and not getting pushed around at the point of attack. Recognizing where the read-option was heading was part of it, and running back Montel Harris was patient and waited for plays to develop and also was slippery to tackle, but the defense looked slow in the first half.
- Catching the ball should not be such a chore for the receivers. Brandon Coleman dropped a fourth down conversion, Quron Pratt dropped a third down slant that could have gone for big yardage, and at the least was a first down, and Mark Harrison dropped a pass on a play that was negated because of a hold. None of the plays were with the receiver under pressure, which makes it even more inexcusable.
- Disguising blitzes and recognizing how the offense can take advantage is big because twice Temple caught Rutgers on a blitz and threw a short screen pass to a receiver. The result was two Temple receivers blocking one Rutgers defender on the edge, and both times the Owls got big gains on the play.
- Selling out on the run near the goal line is a problem that has shown up a few times in the last two seasons and it showed again when Temple scored in the first half. The Owls sent a tight end and running back into the right flat and Rutgers covered neither. In fact, there wasn't a Scarlet Knights even close to either player in the end zone.
- Clock management at the end of the first half was not good. Following a Temple penalty, Rutgers had the ball with no timeouts but a first down at the Owls 47 and 21 seconds left. The ball wasn't snapped until six seconds were on the clock, and that is when Nova forced a pass down the field and had it intercepted.
Khaseem Greene Not To Worry
- Greene will have better days, and the next one should come Saturday against Kent State. Greene missed several tackles that led to nice gains and helped Temple extend drives. It happens, but Greene is on pace to be the Big East defensive player of the year, and he doesn't miss a lot of tackles. Look for a big game on homecoming.
- Everyone likes to get excited about the 35 points Rutgers scored in the second half, and the four touchdown passes by Nova. It was nice and came against a porous Owls secondary that didn't have the skill or size to handle the Scarlet Knights' passing game. This is still a run-first team and Rutgers needs to run the ball effectively all game to keep winning.