10 in 10: Temple at Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – 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.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – 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 23-20 nail biter over Temple.

1.) Dial it Up -- Rutgers got creative on the first career defensive snap for Ruhann Peele. Feigning man coverage on third down, Peele executed a perfect cornerback blitz to force a punt. Peele exploded off the line and delivered a big hit on P.J. Walker before he could go through his reads.

2.) Trouble in the Flat -- Temple owned the flat in the first half, which allowed the Owls to build a 10-point lead. On the second scoring drive of the half, Temple hit four completions for 38 yards on quick shots to the flat. Walker then and hit a wide open Kenneth Harper when middle linebacker Steve Longa bit on play action.

3.) Building Confidence -- Offensive coordinator Ron Prince began with an ultra-conservative look, but slowly made adjustments to open up the playbook when it became clear which Gary Nova was going to show up. Prince spread things out, and showed an increased ability to get the ball to play makers like Tyler Kroft and Leonte Carroo. The first 11 plays were runs, then eight straight passes came and Rutgers kept things in the air with Justin Goodwin struggling.

4.) Solid Grades at Cornerback -- Given the circumstances, Rutgers got good performances at corner from first-time starter Delon Stephenson and Peele, a converted receiver. Stephenson gave up the first touchdown when he took his eyes off the play, but bounced back with solid coverage and tackling. Peele struggled against the run and could not shed blocks, but his tackling impact spoke for itself.

5.) Discipline Needed -- There were a handful of penalties Saturday that were simply inexcusable. Temple got multiple field position gifts off kickoffs via L.J. Liston and Quentin Gause penalties. For Rutgers to be 1st and inches away from a touchdown, and not get off another snap until three yellow flags fell, was close to devastating.

6.) Bad Kicks -- Sometimes missed kicks are on a bad snap or bad hold. For Kyle Federico's badly missed extra point and missed field goal, it was all on him. The snaps and holds were fine by Rob Jones and J.T. Tartacoff. Nick Borgese replaced him in the fourth quarter.

7.) Better Execution -- Rutgers stuck with its use of linebackers on receivers, and performed better. Strongside linebacker Jamal Merrell had some struggles, but picked off a pass that changed momentum. Longa spent more time in the flat, and had an impressive breakup on Temple tailback Zaire Williams.

8.) Pocket Presence -- The first Rutgers touchdown of the day came thanks to a quick adjustment by Nova. After Goodwin whiffed on his blitz pickup, Nova took two steps forward in the pocket and completed it to Quron Pratt on the run for 41 yards. Nova was as good as he has ever been in the pocket, and that showed in the last two scoring drives.

9.) Late Adjustment -- The Carroo touchdown overshadowed the Temple turnover on downs that preceded it but both were decisive moments for Rutgers. Temple dominated in short-yardage plays for most of the game, but a slight linebacker shift by Rutgers set Longa and Kevin Snyder free to make the stop in the backfield.

10.) Bread and Butter -- The game-winning touchdown should feel very familiar to Rutgers fans. It was the exact same play that led to touchdowns against Arkansas and SMU in similar situations. Nova stayed poised in a collapsing pocket, and fired a strike that hit Carroo in stride for the win.


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