10 in 10: Rutgers vs Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – 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.

Louisville, Ky. – 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 the 24-10 loss to Louisville on national television.

1.) Line changes -- After two sacks on the right side in the first quarter, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood benched right tackle Taj Alexander in favor of Andre Civil. Rutgers also used tight end Tyler Kroft at right tackle on multiple runs with Civil as an eligible tight end on the left side.Flood made the move for Antwan Lowery over Chris Muller in the second quarter after falling behind by 17 and they split time.

2.) Early stumble -- The receiving touchdown for Kai DeLacruz of Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional came after safety Tejay Johnson tripped. DeLacruz beat Nadir Barnwell, but Johnson was the assigned safety help. Instead of making a play on the ball, Johnson tripped at the 5-yard line and left a wide open touchdown.

3.) Blown up at the line -- Louisville consistently beat Rutgers in the first two levels against the run. Linebackers Kevin Snyder and Jamal Merrell struggled to finish off plays and shed blocks, forcing Steve Longa to make too many sideline tackles. On the defensive line, Rutgers did not win enough 1-on-1 battles to keep Teddy Bridgewater in the pocket or on the ground. Where Gary Nova took coverage sacks, Bridgewater made three first downs with his feet.

4.) Empty backfield struggles -- Spreading things out may work against Rutgers, but it was unsuccessful on the whole when offensive coordinator Ron Prince went to it early against Louisville. Rutgers tried to go four-wide with a tight end on multiple drives, but did not have enough pass protection do get much done. Rutgers receivers struggled to get off the line on quick slant plays and, with no fullback or running back, Nova had no time to make his reads.

5.) Beating on Barnwell -- Louisville made it no secret that the offense would target Barnwell, a true freshman. After Barnwell got beaten twice on the first Louisville drive, the Cardinals went after him the rest of the night and consistently moved the chains in 1-on-1 coverage with DeLacruz, before he left with an injury. With an injury to Lew Toler and the absence of Gareef Glashen, Rutgers had no choice but to keep playing Barnwell on the island. Struggles got to the point that true freshman Anthony Cioffi replaced him in the fourth quarter.

6.) Avoiding Grant -- Louisville went with directional kickoffs all night to avoid true freshman Janarion Grant and senior Quron Pratt, who both have touchdown returns this season. Though Rutgers averaged starts on the 29-yard line off kickoffs, it kept the special teams unit from having an even bigger impact on the game.

7.) On your Marquez -- Backup fullback Kevin Marquez saw plenty of action. Marquez has had a role up to this game, but spelled starter Michael Burton well. The longest Huggins run of the day came on a lead block from Marquez. Huggins ran behind Marquez in a double fullback formation twice in the game for positive yardage.

8.) Goodwin still green -- True freshman running back Justin Goodwin was productive with 3.5 yards per carry, but is still showing inexperience at tailback. Goodwin struggled at the second level in reading the defensive secondary. He also reacted poorly on a playact that led to a blindside sack on Nova and killed a third-quarter drive.

9.) Drive killer -- Nova's interception is what will be remembered about the failed fourth-quarter drive, but the 15-yard penalty by left guard Kaleb Johnson was devastating. Rutgers had to get aggressive with its play-calling after falling to 2nd and 22 and the result was Nova missing an open throwing window by half a second and his third pick of the night.

10.) False advertisement -- Bridgewater did not look like a Heisman candidate Thursday and, if anything, looked like a regression of what he showed against Rutgers last season. Bridgewater's stats were average at best given the struggles of the Rutgers defensive secondary -310 yards and two touchdowns with two turnovers and two sacks. He missed three wide-open receivers for touchdowns, and did not protect the football much better than Nova. Bridgewater made big plays with his feet and his receivers did the rest against a secondary sporting three freshman corners.


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