As part of ScarletReport.com's media day coverage, the "10 in 10" segment gives you 10 not-so-noticeable things that took place during Saturday’s battle against Michigan.
It is designed for each of the 10 quick-hitters to be read in 10 seconds or less. Here are the 10 from High Point Solutions Stadium.
1. Halftime Drive -- Gary Nova led an impressive drive going into halftime. Rutgers was in trouble of collapse after the failed fake punt. Nova and the offense had 103 seconds left in the half and were nearly perfect in taking back momentum. Nova was controlled and accurate on the way to 7-11 passing, 75 yards and a touchdown on the drive.
2. Lady Luck -- A little luck on that halftime drive was welcome for Nova. Multiple things went just right including the improvised shovel pass to Justin Goodwin for a first down (barely a legal forward pass). A communication breakdown gave Michigan a free shot at Nova on the touchdown pass before a stiff arm gave him enough space. Nova said he should have thrown it away after the game.
3. The Big Guys -- The offensive line was solid overall, but there have to be improvements before facing the Ohio State front seven. Rutgers did not open large enough holes for the running game, and Ohio State has to be excited about some of the pass protection breakdowns displayed this week.
4. Dropped Chances. -- Rutgers worked to get receiver Janarion Grant involved, but the drops proved costly. Grant dropped multiple catchable balls, including a would-be touchdown and would-be fourth down conversion.
5. Worst. Call. Ever. -- The issue with the fake punt was not the play itself but the timing of it. Rutgers had momentum and gave Michigan a free spark of life. The Wolverines easily drove down the field before Nova bailed out the strange play call.
6. Run, No Gain, Repeat --- The conventional run game was not working early with either Desmon Peoples or Justin Goodwin. Nova and Grant were, by far, the leading rushers at halftime. Goodwin and Peoples combined for one yard. Credit Rutgers for getting it done when it had to, however. Peoples got the one first down he truly needed to run out the clock
7. Not Enough Speed -- Rutgers had the right play on Gardner’s first touchdown run, but linebacker Quentin Gause did not have the speed to get to the edge in time. Gardner ran past him untouched to give Michigan its first lead of the game. It was a rough first half for Gause, who also committed a costly personal foul.
8. Receiver Rotation -- Sophomore John Tsimis saw a decreased role Saturday after struggling against Tulane. Andrew Turzilli got the start, and Rutgers made a stronger effort to get Grant involved. It yielded mixed results. Carlton Agudosi emerged as the first X option after Carroo’s injury.
9. Green Not Involved -- The fact that Michigan tailback Derrick Green only saw 12 touches is a crime. He set a ton on his first touch – a 26-yard run – and would have been a difference maker if given more opportunities. Backups De’Veon Smith and Justice Hayes did not have the same impact in their combined 13 touches.
10. Game Ball to Bimonte --- Rutgers does not win this game without an elite holder. The snap on Kyle Federico’s first field goal and extra point were, at best, off the mark. In a two-point game, junior Mike Bimonte saved Rutgers four points by handling said snaps with grace.