1. Get off the Field – For the second straight week, the Rutgers defense fell victim to the time of possession and that led to mistakes. The Rutgers offense could not sustain a drive and an already-struggling defense gave up too many big plays as a result. The Rutgers offense did not stay on the field long enough, and the massive for Penn State on the ground worse down the defense.
2. Pedestrian Return – The 2016 debut of team captain Darius Hamilton did not make for much of a difference on the field. Hamilton, visibly limping, was not the same wrecking ball as he was last year against Penn State. Julian Pinnix-Odrick took the majority of work at the position and projects to maintain his role in the future.
3. Shut Down – Rutgers runs to set up the big pass, and when there is no running game, this is the result. Chris Laviano is an easy target as the quarterback, and deserves his share of blame, but the running game went nowhere against the Nittany Lions at 1.3 yards per carry.
4. The Hackenberg Factor – For the second straight game against Rutgers, Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg had his moments but did not look like the projected first-round NFL draft pick. Hackenberg didn’t have to do anything with the dynamic rushing attack, but he struggled when Rutgers put on pressure with a handful of inaccurate passes and the fourth-quarter interception to Anthony Cioffi.
5. Hungry, Humble – Carlton Agudosi has done nothing but work hard and stay out of trouble during his four years at Rutgers. When he stepped in for his old roommate Leonte Carroo, Agudosi played the best game of his career and was the brightest offensive spot in an otherwise bleak game. He recorded a career-high six catches for 80 yards.
6. Welcome to the Big Ten – The road environment got to Rutgers on the first drive. Rutgers started on its own 2-yard line, directly in front of a packed Penn State student section. Two false starts and quarterback sneak later and it was all over.
7. The One that Got Away -- True freshman Saquon Barkley was explosive, decisive and the rain could not stop a dynamic first cut. The one-time Rutgers commit finished with 195 yards and two touchdowns.
8. Wharton’s Island – Red-shirt freshman Isaiah Wharton continues to improve at cornerback. He was both alert against the quick slant and improved at shedding his block in the running game. He is a long way from where he needs to be, but the improvement is consistent from week to week.
9. First and Run – Rutgers stuck with the same safe play-calling, and everyone saw why when coordinator Ben McDaniels tried to take shots during the two-minute drill. Laviano nearly through an interception on first down before two inaccurate downfield passes forced another punt. Rutgers threw beyond the first-down marker only three times in the first half. He then underthrew a pass to Andre Patton for a halftime pick.
Rutgers showed even more why stretching the field was not in the plans during the fourth quarter. Rutgers looked for the deep ball, and gave Laviano just enough time to take three sacks before a punt.
10. Franklin’s Honor Guard – Penn State coach James Franklin took the field arm-in-arm for the start of the game with three players at the forefront – receiver Saeed Blacknall, defensive end Garrett Sickels and offensive lineman Brendan Mahon. All are former high-profile Rutgers targets from New Jersey.