1.) Deering Phased Out -- Sophomore Johnathan Aiken got the starting nod at safety ahead of senior Jeremy Deering, and played in the majority of first- and second-down situations. Freshman Delon Stephenson moved back to safety and worked there ahead of Deering as well.
2.) Coverage Wrinkle -- There was not enough time for wholesale changes, and interim coordinator Joe Rossi made that clear before the game. One wrinkle that lessened the damage of quick passes came with linebackers forcing plays back inside. Saturday showed fewer linebacker mismatches in coverage and better production in under-coverage.
3.) Hamilton's Role -- Sophomore defensive tackle Darius Hamilton did not see a major increase in snaps under Rossi, but he did work at defensive end in some passing situations. Hamilton began his Rutgers career as a defensive end, before quickly moving to the 3-technique as a true freshman.
4.) Future of Weakside Linebacker -- Quentin Gause finally got a starter's share of action ahead of Jamal Merrell at linebacker. Gause played with energy, and led Rutgers in tackles. He projects to take over for Merrell as the starter in spring practice.
5.) Halftime Knee -- Playing it conservative at the half was one of three coaching decisions that drew boos from the Rutgers fans in attendance. The Scarlet Knights went into halftime with a chance to win the game, but took way too big of a risk in having Janarion Grant fair catch the punt, when taking a knee was the next play call.
6.) Settling for Three -- Rutgers settled for a field goal despite having less than a yard to go for the touchdown. It took Rutgers three plays to get two yards leading up to the four down situation, and Rutgers would have had to punch it in with an undersized offensive line and an injured Paul James.
7.) No Quarterback -- Starting quarterback Chas Dodd gets all of the credit in the world for a gutsy, competitive 60 minutes and proper execution of the game plan. But Dodd simply did not make the kinds of plays Rutgers needed out of a quarterback to win the game. He missed Michael Burton on one easy touchdown, and Coleman on another. His final Rutgers stat line included three interceptions and a 10-for-28 passing day.
8.) Tackling Problems -- Cornerback Nadir Barnwell did not tackle well at all. Barnwell got a bigger role with Stephenson playing safety. He gave up far too many yards after catch because of missed 1-on-1 tackles against Notre Dame skill players.
9.) Coleman Misses -- There may have been bounce-back moments for Brandon Coleman in his final game at Rutgers, but it was not a complete effort. Coleman missed the key block on the second play of the game, where what should have been a 1-on-1 situation for Ruhann Peele died as a two-yard loss.
10.) Federico Bounces Back -- Kicker Kyle Federico quietly had an excellent finish to 2013. Federico was poor at best in the first half of the year. Against Notre Dame, he drilled a 47-yard field goal in the second half, making every kick of the day.