Notebook: McCourty's play, new Wildcat, ect.

Rutgers suffered a disappointing 24-17 loss to Pittsburgh, but there were some things coach Greg Schiano liked. He lauded the play of cornerback Devin McCourty, talked about the latest twist to the "Wildcat" package and also spoke about a potential injury to one of Rutgers' defensive starters.

Pittsburgh's Jonathan Baldwin had one catch for 17 yards.

The receiver Rutgers coach Greg Schiano called the best in the Big East during the week was a non-factor, and much of it had to do with the play of Rutgers senior cornerback Devin McCourty.

p "I thought Devin played great,'' Schiano said after Rutgers fell to Pittsburgh 24-17 Friday at Rutgers Stadium. "That's as good as a receiver there is out there.''

Baldwin, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound sophomore, entered as Pittsburgh's leading receiver. He had 27 catches for 532 yards, but didn't figure into the passing game, and much of the reason was McCourty's coverage. The two were matched up frequently.

"I was just trying to stay with him, but they ran the ball pretty well, which is probably why they didn't need to throw to him,'' McCourty said. "I felt like I did a pretty good job. He's a good receiver, and after the one catch he did make, I thought, ‘How did he just make that catch?' ‘'

However, McCourty wasn't taking much pride in his job shutting down Baldwin. Instead, he was focusing on Pittsburgh converting 10 of 17 third downs.

"We work all offseason and in fall camp on getting off the field,'' McCourty said. "When a team does that well on third down, we're not doing our job. They got themselves in some pretty good situations in third and short, and then when they had longer, they made some nice plays in the passing game.''

D'Imperio's injury
Rutgers middle linebacker Ryan D'Imperio was in and out of the game during second half after apparently injuring his shoulder on Pittsburgh running back Dion Lewis' 58-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

"He caught a stinger coming over the top,'' Schiano said. "He got hit and knocked his shoulder down into the ground.''

Where's Brooks and Williams?
Rutgers' running game was non-existent, with receiver Mohamed Sanu leading the way with 29 yards on four carries out of the "Wildcat'' formation. Joe Martinek added 23 yards on nine carries, but absent were Jourdan Brooks and freshman De'Antwan Williams.

Neither played as Martinek and Kordell Young handled the running back duties.

"Wildcat'' Sanu

Rutgers unveiled a new version of the "Wildcat'' attack with freshman receiver Mohamed Sanu, a former high school quarterback, taking the snap, and it resulted in an 11-yard touchdown run in the opening minutes.

"He looked good,'' Schiano said. "I think there's some shelf life to that package.''

Pitt ends its pain
How important was the win to Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt after four straight losses to Rutgers?

"It has been a long time coming and I'm very, very happy for our seniors,'' he said. "These kids have really worked extremely hard over the past four years to try and build this program up and make it a program that not only they would be proud of, but the University would be proud of and the city.''

Odds and ends
Howard Barbieri started at right guard in place of Desmond Wynn. …It is usually not a good sign when a safety leads the team in tackles, and that was the case for Rutgers as Zaire Kitchen and linebacker Antonio Lowery each made 12. McCourty chipped in with 11 tackles. …With Martinek throwing a pass on a half-back option, the Scarlet Knights have now had six players throw a pass this season. In addition to quarterbacks Tom Savage, Dom Natale and Jabu Lovelace, tight end Shamar Graves and Sanu also have thrown passes.


Scarlet Report Top Stories