10 in 10: Rutgers vs SMU

DALLAS – 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.

DALLAS – 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 Saturday's 55-52 victory over SMU.

1.) Nova's Bootleg -- The SMU defense was prepared for a plunge from running back Savon Huggins on the first score of the game, but offensive coordinator Ron Prince put in extra effort to sell the run. Prince placed offensive lineman Brian Leoni in as a blocking tight end and faked the handoff to Huggins directly behind Leoni and right tackle Taj Alexander. The defense bit and Nova sauntered in for the score. Rutgers also used Leoni as a lead blocker on Justin Goodwin's 2-yard plunge.

2.) Laurels and Darts -- Goodwin made explosive plays throughout the game, but there are a few reasons he was not the feature back. Goodwin made multiple mistakes and missed assignments that led to Nova feeling the pressure. Savon Huggins was far ahead of Goodwin in pass protection Saturday and deserves credit for two critical runs down the stretch.

3.) Little Hammer -- Nadir Barnwell is the winner in the stat book, but give sophomore defensive tackle Darius Hamilton credit for his pursuit on the botched-snap touchdown in the first quarter. Hamilton closed quickly on Garrett Gilbert and went for the strip instead of the safety in the end zone. He succeeded and Barnwell fell on it for his first touchdown since playing for Piscataway High.

4.) Bujari Springs Goodwin -- Goodwin's 50-yard screen touchdown only happened because of a second-level block by center Betim Bujari. Bujari slipped through the defensive line as Nova dropped back and cut down the only linebacker in position to stop Goodwin from taking it to the house.

5.) Easy Six -- Credit SMU's first touchdown to a blown coverage. Rutgers bit on the run and put two bodies on the tight end which allowed receiver Jeremy Johnson to slip free completely uncovered.

6.) Muddy Waters -- The second SMU touchdown pass came when safety Lorenzo Waters took a bad angle in coverage and left a clear path for Mike Loftus to take it 62 yards for a score. Waters had other troubles in coverage, including when he picked Davon Jacobs on the third passing touchdown for Gilbert.

7.) Play-Action Excellence -- SMU was helpless against the play action for Rutgers and that was most clear in the third-quarter drive capped off by a Tyler Kroft touchdown. After calling six straight runs to Justin Goodwin at running back, Kroft motioned from left to right and got a step when defensive back Jay Scott bit on play action. The first Rutgers touchdown also came via play action on a designed bootleg run.

8.) Spread Improvement -- Rutgers was more vulnerable to the big play than it was against Fresno State, but the cornerbacks did a better job forcing receivers inside. By pushing SMU plays to the inside, Rutgers limited yards after catch.

9.) No Separation -- Wide receiver Brandon Coleman could not separate from his defender on his 56-yard reception. Coleman was caught from behind, showing he is not nearly as fast as last season after having offseason surgery. A sophomore Coleman scores. Rutgers tried another deep shot to Coleman in the fourth quarter. Nova put the ball where it needed to be, but Coleman did not get enough separation to make a play on the ball.

10.) Riding the Hot Hand -- Coach Kyle Flood went with a heavy dose of Goodwin, who showed more burst than Savon Huggins. Goodwin got to the second level more quickly, followed his blockers for big plays and had the biggest statistical day for a true freshman running back since Ray Rice.


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