10 in 10: Rutgers vs. Syracuse

Gary Nova

ScarletReport.com's post-game package goes much deeper than the stats and the nuts and bolts of the game. The "10 in 10" feature gives Rutgers 10 not-so-noticeable notes that each can be read in 10 seconds or less. The breezy format is perfect for office water-cooler talk the day after a game.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- As part of ScarletReport.com's post-game coverage, the "10 in 10" segment gives you 10 not-so-noticeable things that took place in the just-completed game.

It is designed for each of the 10 quick-hitters, each to be read in 10 seconds or less. Here are the 10 from Saturday's 23-15 win against Syracuse at High Point Solutions Stadium.

1. Perfect accuracy
It isn't only about making the right read, but also the perfect throw. When quarterback Gary Nova threw out of his own end zone for 27 yards to Brandon Coleman the first quarter, and Coleman made a dazzling left-handed catch, coverage was good but the ball was thrown only where Coleman could catch it.

2. Changing defenses
Defensive coordinator Robb Smith continued to mix up looks, and he had a good one on the first play of the second quarter when he went with three down linemen and four linebackers. The result was an 11-yard sack and fumble that pushed the ball back to Rutgers 38.

3. The maturation of Nova
Nova had gone 153 passes without an interception, and his maturation was evident with 13:07 left in the second quarter. With no one to throw to he was about to pull the ball down and run but at the last moment used his outlet to the left and running back Jawan Jamison, and the play went for 11 yards.

4. Watch the cutback
Syracuse's running game had success in the first half because of available cutbacks as plays flowed to the side. Running back Jermone Smith was able to change direction and was able to get chunks of yards in the first half because of it.

5. Knowing the situation
Safety Lorenzo Waters went for an interception in the closing minutes on a sideline route, and when he missed the ball he had no help behind him. Christopher Clark made the catch and it turned into a 40-yard touchdown, rather than Waters go for the sure tackle and make Syracuse eat another 90 seconds or so to push down the field further.

6. Physical play
Rutgers had trouble running the ball for the first time for a number of reasons, including Syracuse's defensive line, which was quick and strong. The Scarlet Knights had trouble getting push at the line of scrimmage, and it resulted in few holes in the running game.

7. Blocking the path
Penetration through the middle of the line of scrimmage allowed Jamal Merrell to block a field goal for a game-changing play that resulted in a Duron Harmon touchdown. Merrell found a soft place in the middle of the line and pushed straight through to get the block.

8. Changing the DL
Rutgers offensive coordinator Dave Brock tried to change the look when Rutgers had three tight ends in the game, but split them all wide. It resulted in a 6-yard run by Jamison, which on this day was a big play.

9. DC on the block
Tight end D.C. Jefferson caught one pass for three yards, but had a number of key blocks, including when he buried a linebacker on third-and-7 that led to Jamison running for a first down.

10. The underbelly
When Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib showed patience, he was able to move the ball well with short passes over the middle to take advantage of the linerbackers in coverage.

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