1. The Laviano Show – Like it or not, this staff and team is committed to Chris Laviano as its starting quarterback. The mix of mental and execution errors hurt Rutgers with too many points left on the field. Another sack that took Rutgers out of field goal range was just the start. Laviano missed two should-be touchdowns to Jawuan Harris with accuracy issues and looked uncomfortable on his fourth-down option scramble. As much as Laviano struggled, he still managed the run game well with checks at the line of scrimmage and threw a perfect ball to Andre Patton. According to both Chris Ash and Drew Mehringer, Laviano improved this week.
2. Ground and Pound – The fact that Rutgers battled between the tackles to the level it did says a lot about the improvements at offensive line and running back. Iowa is as physical as them come in the trenches and, even with no respect for Laviano as a legitimate running threat, Rutgers ran for 193 yards and won time of possession. Justin Goodwin ran his toughest game yet.
3. The Elusive Play – Rutgers made a change on kickoffs and finally got a touchback. David Bonagura replaced Jared Smolar and his first kick was a touchback. Bonagura's second kick made it to the 3-yard line.
4. Linebacker Lag – Linebacker execution cost Rutgers in the field position battle with clock management. Weakside linebacker Trevor Morris and middle linebacker Deonte Roberts both struggled against the run. Morris did not disengage well from blocks and Iowa back Akrum Wadley dragged Roberts beyond the first-down marker on the final drive. What Morris lacked in times in execution, he made up for in toughness by playing hurt. Morris did postgame interviews in a walking boot.
5. Turay's debut? – Kemoko Turay took the field on a pass-rushing situation in the first half. He sort of found the field again in the third quarter, but did not take a snap. Turay ran out as a fourth-down lineman on third and long before Rutgers called a timeout and removed Turay from the play with 12 men on the field.
6. Lack of Commitment – Rutgers gave Tylin Oden a shot after more early struggles from Laviano but would not fully commit to the true freshman. With no opportunities to throw, Oden returned to the bench on 3rd and 7 in favor of Laviano, who did not complete the pass. The decision-making became even stranger when Rutgers pulled Oden only for Laviano to be stuffed twice in the red zone.
7. Line Rotation Continues – JJ Denman became the latest starter on the bench, this time for converted defensive tackle Kamaal Seymour. Seymour replaced Denman on the same drive as Janarion Grant's injury. He joins Zack Heeman, Marcus Applefield and Jonah Jackson with meaningful in-game reps as a backup this season.
8. Hot and Cold – Safety Kiy Hester's stat sheet looks impressive but not all of it came for good reasons. Hester swarmed the football consistently, but also struggled with his assignments. The crushing touchdown to George Kittle came when Hester lost track of him, but credit the starting free safety with better angles against the run and multiple pass deflections.
9. Interference Issues – The first offensive pass interference was rough enough when it helped knock Rutgers out of field-goal range. The second was inexcusable. Responsible for 60 percent of the team's penalty yards, Nick Arcidiacono and John Tsimis hurt drives with penalties in an otherwise clean game.
10. SAM Reps – Without Najee Clayton, Greg Jones remains the go-to guy at strongside linebacker. When Jones lost his helmet, freshman Tyreek Williams took his place on the field. The true freshman should comopete for playing time at linebacker moving into the second half of the season.null