1.) Dodd's Day -- Quarterback Chas Dodd returned as the starter and played up and down as expected. Dodd threw well down the sidelines, and made solid decisions with the football. Dodd's touch in the red zone has not improve, and the read-option looks were not working. Both interceptions were bad throws, but came when the offense was pushing for a big play.
2.) Who Wants It More? -- For the third or fourth time this season, the other team showed more fire and passion on the field. One team gave off the image of a nine-loss team and it wasn't Connecticut.
3.) Pistol Prince -- Rutgers needed to find ways for Dodd to make quick reads, and read the field. Offensive coordinator Ron Prince showed the pistol often, and also used Dodd in read-option formations. Though receiver Ruhann Peele's big catch came out of the pistol, it was unsuccessful on the whole.
4.) Freshman Mistakes -- Red-shirt freshman right guard Chris Muller killed two of the biggest plays of the day with penalties. Muller negated a touchdown pass to receiver Ruhann Peele with a hands to the face penalty. He held a UConn pass rusher to negate a defensive pass interference.
5.) Free Yardage from Connecticut -- The lack of discipline went both ways. Bad teams make unforced errors, and Connecticut showed plenty of that to hurt. The Huskies peppered in five-yards on both sides of the ball with everything from offsides to snap infractions to false starts. UConn finished with seven penalties for 44 yards.
6.) Third Down Back -- Rutgers got good third down production from junior Savon Huggins. Huggins did his job in pass protection, and converted a huge third down with one of his best outside runs in a Rutgers uniform. He and freshman Justin Goodwin spelled Paul James (leg) after the injury, and neither did enough to keep Rutgers out of third and long situations.
7.) Peele Exposed -- Two-way player Peele was victimized in the first two drives at cornerback, and did not return on defense after that. Peele has strengths as a corner, including natural athleticism and physicality. But Peele could not shed his blocks, or stick on UConn receivers in press coverage. The good news for him is that with Leonte Carroo out, he may be the best late option at wideout.
8.) Uncontested Passes -- Rutgers gave up its share of open space in zone coverage, and coverage mis-matches, but sometimes the defenders just need to make a play. When Cochran completed his wobbly 23-yard to Geremy Davis in triple coverage, Steve Longa and Nadir Barnwell barely defended the pass.
9.) Read-Option Woes -- Rutgers used more designed runs at quarterback Saturday than in any game since Jabu Lovelace was on the roster. Rutgers ran the option out of shotgun and pistol formations to no avail. Dodd neither possessed the athleticism to make plays with his feet, nor made good decisions out of the formation.
10.) Circus Play -- The attempt at a "Music City Miracle" play down 11 would have been a meaningless score, and not something normally done at this level. There is no shame in running it up the middle and heading to the locker room in that situation.