D'Imperio Leads Defense in Victory

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights definitely weren't short on big defensive plays yesterday. The Florida International Golden Panthers were the recipient of some stiff defense in Piscataway. Team captain Ryan D'Imperio led the way with 8 tackles, 1 sack, 2 quarterback hurries, and an interception return for a touchdown.

SOR caught up with him after the game where he gave us his assessment of the overall defensive performance.

"It's great. It's something that we feel good about. Our d-line did a phenomenal job. They moved around a lot and made plays. They put pressure on the quarterback by doing exactly what they were supposed to do. There are specific details (to our defense) that allows for that to happen" said Ryan D'Imperio.

Ryan produced one of the biggest plays caused by a Rutgers defensive player in what seems like a long time. With 8:06 left in the contest, he returned an interception 38 yards for his fist ever collegiate score.

"It starts with the d-line. They were getting in there, making a lot of QB hits, and we got some turnovers because of it. The cornerback, DBs and safeties also allowed the play to happen. They were in coverage taking care of their responsibilities which forced the quarterback to throw the ball towards me. I just happened to be the one to make the play. Everybody did their job."

D'Imperio had gotten off to a slow start despite the high expectations for his play during the pre-season. He discussed what he was able to accomplish yesterday as opposed to the 2 previous contests.

"There was a lot of improvement especially as far as my reads. I definitely played more down-hill which really opened up my vision and allowed me to make plays. Doing the little things right went a long way."

Although the defense showed an improved effort, and were even working on a shutout late in the fourth quarter, the defense ultimately allowed 15 points within the final few minutes of the contest, attesting to the fact that there is still plenty of room for improvement.

"We're gonna go watch the film and figure out what we need to work on and then we'll improve from there. It's not about the good things. It's about fixing the things that went wrong and that's what we gotta do". SOR will keep you posted.

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