After A Tough Start, RU Defense Regroups

After allowing 30 points per game in the first three games, the defense has allowed just 37 points the previous three contests. Sophomore safety Joe Lefeged said the defense has improved because the group came together to form a cohesive unit.

It was hard the first few games," he said. "I think what we did was we came together as a defense, prepared more off the field, and practiced a lot harder. I think it's starting to show."

The Fresno State and North Carolina games slipped away from the Knights because of the big play.

"In the beginning, we were making mental errors," he said. "We worked on staying focused at practice, worked on making our reads and that's helped us eliminate big plays."

In the last three losses, Rutgers has lost by just 12 points. The close losses are tough to take Lefeged said, but the team came into the game with the mindset that the games would come down to the end.

"It's not something that surprised us because they're all good teams," he said. "We go into the game expecting it to go into the last drive. We've been coming up short, but we're practicing hard everyday so we can come out on top."

On Saturday, the Knights held the Bearcats to just 13 points, including just three points in the second half. Lefeged said the defense went out there with something to prove.

"We came out with a chip on our shoulder," he said. "We wanted to come out and play Rutgers defense, and I think we did that. We gave up a few plays, but we're real confident."

This week Lefeged knows the D will have to continue to improve as they take on the Big East's leading rusher Donald Brown and the 5-1 Connecticut Huskies.

"They have a great running back," he said. "They have great athletes at receiver and QB. It's going to take a team effort to stop this offense."

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