USFNation Game Grades: USF at Rutgers

The Bulls hopes of playing for the national title took a hit when they dropped a heartbreaker 30-27 at Rutgers. Now see how the staff at USFNation graded each position's performance.

Well all good things must come to an end and USF's meteoric rise to the top was one of them.


It was fun while it lasted though and until that *cough* bull**** *cough* offensive pass interference call in the fourth quartrer, I thought it still might be going.


But now is the toughest test for USF. They have to regroup and frankly they have to put a hurting on some teams. No. 10 in the BCS means the Bulls aren't eliminated from ANYTHING yet.


Before we can move ahead, let's look back at Rutgers one last time to remember the feeling of defeat...hopefully it will be the last time we feel that way in 2007.


QUARTERBACK (C+): Once again, with nearly everything on the shoulders of Matt Grothe it's hard to grade him. He did a lot of things well and he did a lot of things that were the result of being a guy with more experience to gain. When Walter Walker went down I think Grothe put too much on to himself and the coaching decisions to keep him in the pocket didn't help. From a numbers standpoint, Grothe accounted for over 300 yards and two touchdowns. He also took an incredible pounding and continued to go after it.


RUNNING BACKS (D): Terrible output, no pass protection. No one appears to be willing to step up and the coaches have not called on any of these guys to produce. With Rutgers blitzing the way they did there has to be better protection and more involvement in the passing game. Their lack of involvement is the coach's fault, the lack of solid blocking is the player's fault.


WIDE RECEIVERS (C-): Alot of guys got involved (8 different players made catches) but Amarri Jackson had one catch for eight yards. Granted he was cheated out of another catch with an awful offensive pass interference call but he's got to be more involved in the offense than that. Otherwise guys like Edwards and Hester had respectable games but they weren't there when they needed to be.


OFFENSIVE LINE (F): When Walter went down so went the pass protection. One of the worst performances for this unit I've ever seen. They are much better than this. There was so little push compared to what the Rutgers offensive line was doing (when they weren't holding).


OFFENSIVE COACHING (D-): Anyone hear of a screen pass? I've heard they are effective in stopping a variety of blitz packages. Let's try to get the running backs more involved than 20 touches. This side of the ball is WAY to reliant on Grothe.


DEFENSIVE LINE (D): Ray Rice and the huge Rutgers offensive line torched this group again. Jarrett Buie had the only tackle for a loss from this bunch. Easily the defensive line's worst performance this year. Not even close. The interior line did nothing to stop Rutgers' running game and the pass rush was non-existent at times, not recording a sack and only one QB hurry.


LINEBACKERS (B): If not for a gutsy performance from Ben Moffitt, Tyrone McKenize and Brouce Mompremier, Rutgers could have scored 14 more points. McKenzie led the team with 11 tackles, Moffitt had a monster game with 10 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and fumble recovery while Mompremier forced a fumble.


SECONDARY (C): Unfair grade in a way because the secondary posted nice numbers. However, the bomb to Tiqu Underwood was a total backbreaker and a major momentum shift. Nate Allen and Carlton Williams provided as much support against the run as they could and Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams played well and held Mike Teel well under 50% passing (11-for-29) but giving up big plays on the road is a killer.


SPECIAL TEAMS (F): The special teams unit struggled mightily despite a blocked field goal. Delbert Alvarado was 2-of-4 on field goals and averaged less than 40 yards per punt. The return game didn't have a play longer than 25 yards and the FG defensive unit gives up a touchdown on a fake field goal. Overall this was a struggle all night and the mistakes here were a microcosm for the game.


DEFENSIVE COACHING (C-): Rutgers only chance to win this game was with Ray Rice and the coaches knew that. Granted USF's defense had been completely dominant against the run, this was going to be their first test against a power running team and the coaches didn't put the players in a position to stop Rice from moving the chains. Add in some major miscalculations on special teams and you get a below average grade and a loss.

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