Taking It Personally

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Rutgers defense gave up 52 points in an overtime loss to Fresno State. A program that prides itself on tough defense and turnovers, the Scarlet Knights took their performance personally and plan to bounce back against Norfolk State.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – With a new defensive coordinator and seven new starters, Rutgers gave up more than three times its 2012 season average in a 52-51 overtime loss to Fresno State.

The numbers are not pretty and the Rutgers locker room is taking this one personally with the goal of never letting it happen again.

"I don't remember the last time 50 points was scored on a Rutgers defense at all," said sophomore starting defensive tackle Darius Hamilton. "Just the fact that it's happened on us is a huge slap in the face. We have to get back."

Rutgers last surrender 50-plus when Greg Schiano called the plays in a 69-38 loss to Cincinnati in 2010 when most of the starting defense was still in high school.

Feeling confident out of training camp, the best thing Rutgers can do as a defense is get back to work and prepare harder this week.

"I just think we need to get back to playing our defense," Hamilton said. "I think he dictated a lot during that game. Don't get me wrong, Carr is a great quarterback and Fresno is a great team, but I think he dictated a lot during that game and that's definitely not the way Rutgers plays defense. We're hard-nosed. We grind. We tackle. We swarm. I just think that we have to get back to doing it the right way."

Junior weakside linebacker Kevin Snyder has plenty of on-field experience but is in his first year as an every-down player. The play count was tough for the defense, Snyder admitted, but not an excuse.

"You start to get gassed," Snyder said. "I think we may have run over 100 plays, so I mean, we were gassed from that and we were getting frustrated."

Frustration was a common word in top floor of the Hale Center Monday during a media luncheon with select players.

"I know I was frustrated and I think our defensive staff was frustrated because that's what we wanted to do," Snyder said. "We wanted to eliminate the vertical passing game. We didn't want them to get down the field quickly on us and that did make it frustrating – them getting seven or eight yards at a time and just moving the chains over and over."

Junior Gareef Glashen was a major target for Carr and the Fresno State offense.

Seeing his most significant role since high school, the starting cornerback admittedly struggled against the short passes and in red-zone defense.

"That was kind of hard for my first real game," Glashen said. "It was very tiring, but I felt like I was in shape to compete with them. I just didn't go out and execute at a high enough level."

Glashen and the rest of the young defensive secondary gets its next shot against Norfolk State. A significantly less potent passing offense, the FCS foe in the home opener provides the defense a chance to get back to basics and prepare for the many spread offenses still on the schedule.

"We take it personally," Glashen said. "We give a lot of credit to them but we beat ourselves in some levels of the game. We felt that we beat ourselves by missing a lot of tackles and not doing the fundamental things that would have helped us."


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