Rutgers fans came out to Piscataway tonight expecting to see the Scarlet Knights re-energized and rejuvenated.
They saw just that ... for one half at least, then the Scarlet rockets sputtered silent. For the second week in a row Rutgers fell apart in the second half. Unlike last week, Rutgers held on for the win ... just barely.
The Knights owned the first half. Rutgers held Kent State to negative 22 yards rushing and terrorized KSU QB Joshua Cribbs with a ferocious pass rush which became the Knights most powerful offensive weapon. Twice Rutgers sent Kent State drives into reverse, forcing the Golden Flashes into their own endzone for Rutgers' scores; once on a safety and once with a forced fumble for a touchdown.
RU led at the half 23-7 and Knight fans settled in for the inevitable blow out.
However, in the second half Rutgers fell apart. The Scarlet pass rush ceased to be a factor and Kent State's excellent quarterback, Joshua Cribbs, picked apart a seemingly helpless Rutgers secondary. As KSU roared back with 14 points, the Knights could manage only two field goals to hang on the win.
Play of the Game
Brian Leonard hurdled a defensive back on route to a touchdown the the first half. The 240 pound Leonard showed the juke/ jive ability of a scatback on a play that brought the crowd to its feet.
Things to feel good about
The first half pass rush was one of the most impressive displays in recent memory. Sophomore Eric Foster is quick, strong and tenacious. He could develop into a force on defense in the future.
Justice Hairston started to get back into the grove. Hairston had two outstanding runs where he showed an ability to run as a slasher in addition to his usual style of running people over.
Things to be concerned about
The secondary coverage was almost non existent. KSU players were routinely uncovered on pass routes, with often as much as five or ten yards of separation from the closest defenders. Rutgers performance in this game was one of the worst exhibitions of pass defense I have ever seen.
|Scarlet Knights||SY||Joshua Brazen fumbled. Joshua Brazen recovered fumble. Safety||0 - 2|
|Scarlet Knights||TD||Ryan Hart passed to Clark Harris down the middle for 18 yard gain (Jeremy Ito made PAT)||0 - 9|
|Scarlet Knights||TD||Joshua Brazen fumbled. Corey Barnes recovered fumble (Jeremy Ito made PAT)||0 - 16|
|Golden Flashes||TD||Joshua Cribbs passed to Najah Pruden to the left for 17 yard gain (Travis Mayle made PAT)||7 - 16|
|Scarlet Knights||TD||Ryan Hart passed to Brian Leonard to the left for 5 yard gain (Jeremy Ito made PAT)||7 - 23|
|Golden Flashes||TD||Rasheed McClaude rushed up the middle for 2 yard gain (Travis Mayle made PAT)||14 - 23|
|Scarlet Knights||FG||Jeremy Ito kicked a 24-yard field goal||14 - 26|
|Golden Flashes||TD||Joshua Cribbs rushed up the middle for 18 yard gain (Travis Mayle made PAT)||21 - 26|
|Scarlet Knights||FG||Jeremy Ito kicked a 22-yard field goal||21 - 29|
|D. Dowery Jr.||1||2||2.0||2||0||1|
|D. Dowery Jr.||15||150||0.0||36||0||1|
|D. Dowery Jr.||2||2||1.0||2||0||0||0||0.0||0||0|
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