10 in 10: Rutgers at Army

WEST POINT, N.Y. -- Scarlet Report's Sam Hellman and Brian Dohn break down the 31-21 Rutgers victory from the Michie Stadium south end zone in addition to Saturday's 10-in-10 breakdown.

1. Kick it Up a Notch – Depth problems were an issue throughout the season but it became downright ridiculous against Army. Rutgers started five freshmen, two walk-ons and a an offensive player on defense in the game. Only 13 of today’s 22 starters were projected to do so at the beginning of training camp – and that doesn’t include Leonte Carroo’s latest injury.

2. Now I Know What a TV Dinner Feels Like – The Rutgers offensive line was dominant against the run, and should give an appreciation for what the Scarlet Knights’ defensive line faces weekly in terms of a size disadvantage. The Rutgers offensive line averaged 307 pounds where the Army defensive line sat at a 246-pound average. For comparison, Wisconsin outweighed Rutgers 319 pounds to 272.

3. Laviano Limits Mistakes – Quarterback Chris Laviano played a relatively clean game, but Army’s triple option still out-passed him 140 yards and a touchdown to 105 yards.

4. Cowboy UpChris Muller’s debut at center was good but not great. Rutgers dominated the strength war, and Muller protected Laviano well. His under-center snaps were smooth but two plays lost their timing with poor shotgun snaps. Muller will grade out well overall and deserves credit for his leadership.

5. Scared Straight – Army gave up on kickoffs after Janarion Grant terrified early. First, Army tried to kick away to Justin Goodwin. After Goodwin almost broke a touchdown of his own, Army pooched the next two.

6. Finally … -- When Rutgers starts a drive with 68 seconds before halftime, taking a knee was all but guaranteed before today. Rutgers final got aggressive to close out a half, and took a two-score lead with a 40-yard drive and 41-yard field goal as time expired. Credit Laviano with improved sideline passing and some wide open receivers. Of course, the drive would have been better if Rutgers didn’t waste timeouts.

7. Continued Success – Red-shirt freshman nose tackle Kevin Wilkins picked up where he left off against Nebraska before a halftime right leg injury. On his first two plays, Wilkins forced a third-down tackle for loss when he ate up two linemen and followed it up with a blocked field goal.

8. Lost – Rutgers’ heads were not in it during the first Army score of the game. The defender assigned to fullback Aaron Kemper never found him on the score. Army set up the run with a 30-yard pass where safety Josh Hicks and linebacker Quentin Gause ran into each other before the snap and left Blessuan Austin alone in zone coverage. Army torched Rutgers with properly picked passing spots.

9. Master of the Universe? – It was an excellent first-career start for Zack Heeman all things considered. The heir-apparent to Keith Lumpkin’s left tackle spot filled in for the injured Dorian Miller at left guard. Heeman blocked well in the run game. All four rushing touchdowns came with Heeman directly in front of the scorer.

10. Another Walk-On Starter – Wide receiver Vance Matthews earned his first-career start this week. He took over for Andre Patton opposite Carroo, and caught three passes for 20 yards.

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