10 in 10: Maryland at Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Scarlet Report takes a look at the key moments and storylines in an ugly 46-41 Rutgers loss to Maryland in the final game of 2015. Rutgers finishes 4-8 on the year in its second losing season in four years under coach Kyle Flood.

1. Danger Zone – Maryland must have brought its E-ZPass up the New Jersey Turnpike because the Rutgers defense let the option right through all day. Quarterback mobility became the problem for the Rutgers defense. Maryland averages 53 yards per game from its rushing quarterbacks and got 98 against Rutgers.

2. Boo Birds – Quarterback Chris Laviano did not deserve boos when he re-entered after an injury but he certainly reacted poorly. The sparse group of fans left when Laviano returned boot him and the sophomore quarterback responded by egging fans on. He was not available after the game for comment.

3. Sticking With Laviano – Star receiver Leonte Carroo offered an honest take post-game about why Laviano was the go-to-guy in 2015.

“He plays hard,” Carroo said. “He goes out there and he’s the right guy for the offense. He’s what the linemen are most comfortable with and same with the receivers.”

4. No Excuse  – Rutgers’ last two defensive seasons are the two worst in school history in terms of yards allowed. Rutgers finishes with 4,046 yards allowed in its eight conference games and gave up 462 per game under Joe Rossi in 2015.

5. Where Was Hicks? – The running back formula did not help Rutgers. Josh Hicks showed that he had “it” but received just 10 carries. Flood turned to Robert Martin for the decisive first down and Maryland twice stopped him short.

6. Better Management – Credit Kyle Flood his coordinators for better clock management. With three timeouts in the final minute, at least Flood gave his defense a chance to get one more shot at a victory,

7. Cioffi Gets Strong – Kiy Hester and Davon Jacobs were unavailable for Saturday and Flood moved Anthony Cioffi to strong safety instead of a start for true freshman Najee Clayton, who played mostly on special teams since his game-seven debut. Cioffi struggled east to west with a poor tackling angle on Maryland’s first touchdown run. He played well, however, in the Maryland backfield with two key stops.

8. Quarterback Change – Maryland interim coach Mike Locksley is not afraid of a quarterback change. He subbed in Caleb Rowe after the Terps fell behind by 17 points. The offense received its desired spark with an 11-play, 76-yard drive for three points.

9. Playing Big – For a 260-pound defense end, junior Quanzell Lambert pushed the pile against a poor Maryland offensive line. Lambert finishes his season as one of the top producing defensive linemen for coach Jim Panagos. Locksley’s adjustments shut down the early impact from the Rutgers defensive line.

10. Early Departures – Rutgers opens up a scholarship with offensive lineman Ryan Brodie’s decision to graduate after his red-shirt junior season. Brodie walked on Senior Day and walk-on junior Brian Verbitski did the same. Rutgers did not honor Darius Hamilton or Tim Gleeson, who are both likely back in 2016.

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