10 in 10: Rutgers vs Fresno State

FRESNO, Calif. – ScarletReport.com's post-game package goes much deeper than the stats and the nuts and bolts of the game. The "10 in 10" feature gives Rutgers 10 not-so-noticeable notes that each can be read in 10 seconds or less. The breezy format is perfect for office water-cooler talk the day after a game.

FRESNO, Calif. – As part of ScarletReport.com's post-game coverage, the "10 in 10" segment gives you 10 not-so-noticeable things that took place in the just-completed game.

It is designed for each of the 10 quick-hitters to be read in 10 seconds or less. Here are the 10 from Thursday's overtime 52-51 loss to Fresno State.

1. Grant's Clear Path -- Freshman kick returner Janarion Grant stole the show in the first quarter with an electric 100-yard kick return on his first career start. But what went unnoticed was the crack-back block up the gut by Michael Burton to set Grant loose at the second level. Fresno State adjusted with directional kicks that trapped Rutgers at the 30 for the rest of the night.

2. Stop the Presses -- Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter hyped up his cornerbacks' pressing ability before kickoff. On the first third and long for Rutgers, junior Brandon Coleman had a 10-yard cushion in 1-on-1 coverage and converted with ease. The 20-yard catch set up a 48-yard field goal by Kyle Federico for the lead.

3. Spread Adjustments -- Fresno State running back Josh Quezada broke three huge draw runs up the middle of the field in the first quarter. Rutgers defensive coordinator Dave Cohen mixed things up with extra presence in the box. Davon Jacobs worked at middle linebacker in the dime and Steve Longa Stayed home longer on shotgun draw plays.

4. Trouble with Tempo -- Rutgers was unable to keep up with the Fresno State hurry-up when it came to substation packages. Marcus Thompson failed to get off the field in time and cost Rutgers five yards. It also led to multiple mis-matches for strongside linebacker Jamal Merrell in the slot, and allowed FSU to take the lead at halftime in two-minute drill.

5.) Hamilton's Penalty -- On television, sophomore defensive tackle Darius Hamilton's touchdown-costing penalty came as the result of him slashing his arms at Derek Carr after a big tackle. In the aftermath, Flood declined public comment but said discussions about officiating would take place with league officials.

6. DiPaola, Marquez Excel in Kick Coverage -- Walk-ons Nick DePaola and Kevin Marquez came up huge on the first-team kick coverage behind Marsh's big leg. DiPaula made three tackles on kickoffs inside the 25-yard line. Marquez blew by two blockers to trap Fresno State at the 15 and force its first three-and-out.

7. Upgrade -- Talk about a game-changing upgrade in fifth-year transfer Nick Marsh. Marsh knocked five of eight kickoffs into the end zone for two touchbacks.

8. The James Gang. -- Running back Paul James gets the acclaim for his 182-yard day, but give multiple assists to offensive lineman Chris Muller. Muller replaced Andre Civil at the end of the second quarter and played the rest of the way. He pulled and set James loose on his longest run of the day.

9. Gut Check -- Nova's final incompletion, a bootleg throw to Coleman, fell incomplete by inches. The same play resulted in a touchdown to Coleman at the end of the third quarter. It was still there for Flood in overtime, but the execution fell short.

10. Merrell in Coverage -- Strongside linebacker Jamal Merrell got placed in slot coverage multiple times against the spread with a double-edged results. Merrell forced two punts with third-down pass breakups, but gave up what prove to be the game-winning touchdown on the first play of overtime. Similarly to the start of last year, Rutgers struggled in defending the middle of the field.


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