Sunday Notebook: Norfolk State Aftermath

Rutgers has moved on to Eastern Michigan after taking down FCS opponent Norfolk State 38-0 Saturday afternoon. Back on track after four straight losses, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood reflected on the victory during his Sunday conference call with the media.

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood targeted improvement in two specific areas in the home opener and found it in punting and tackling. Rutgers missed double-digit tackles against Fresno State and improved significantly on film.

"I was very pleased with the way we tackled on defense," Flood said on his conference call. "That was something that we really looked to improve on in the first week. I think that played out the way we wanted it to. I thought we played a little bit more physical on the perimeter of the defense."

Fifth-year senior Nick Marsh boomed a 55-yard punt in the victory and twice trapped Norfolk State inside the 5-yard line.

"I was very pleased with the way we punted the ball – both for distance and location," Flood said. "I think that really put us in some good situations on offense and maybe made Norfolk a little more conservative than they wanted to be."

Pride of Glassboro

Sophomore running back Paul James is in a tie for fifth in the country with his 301 rushing yards this season. Through two games, he is the only back in the nation to be over 300 yards and seven yards per carry to go along with three touchdowns.

Strangely enough, James is not the only Glassboro (N.J.) running back with a bright Big Ten future. True freshman Corey Clement, a former Rutgers recruit, is 18th in the country in rushing for Wisconsin and also has three touchdowns.

"We have a good multiplicity of run schemes that we use. I think that defense probably lends itself to a little bit more of what they call the gap schemes – which are the players you are referring to."

Cioffi Gets Notices

Flood named freshman cornerback Anthony Cioffi as someone that earned more evaluation with a solid showing on film against Fresno State.

"The guy that did some good things on special teams and we've got to continue to find out where he can help us is Anthony Cioffi," Flood said. "I'm very pleased with the way he is playing on special teams and there may be a bigger role for him as we continue to go."

Emotions in Check

Eric LeGrand's retirement ceremony will be emotional but is not a concern in terms of keeping the players focused, Flood said.

"There is a significant portion of our team now that only know Eric as a celebrity, somebody they see on the ESPYs or on a Subway commercial," Fllod said. "Eric is actually coming to talk to the team on Tuesday, which I think will be good for our younger players who haven't met him and don't see him the way I do and the few guys that are left."

Backup Quarterback

Sophomore Mike Bimonte would have played if Rutgers got the ball back at the end of the Norfolk State game, Flood said.

"If he had another offensive drive Mike was going in," he said.

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