Rutgers had a comfortable lead that was growing less comfortable by the minute.
With a fantastic Tulane punt dropped inside the 1 yard line, the Knights got some breathing room with two short runs out to the 8 yard line. On 3rd and 4, the Knights faced a critical moment in the game. Convert and drive down the field to keep momentum or punt and give the underrated Tulane offense great field position with momentum swinging.
The offense arrives in a traditional run formation. 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FB, 1 HB. Classic Rutgers football. Grind out the yards, play it safe, see if you can get the first down. If not, punt it and hope for the best.
The crowd sees it, Tulane sees it, and as the play begins, no surprises. Nova turns to hand the ball off, the play flows to the strong side, the offensive linemen kick into their pass protection...wait a second...
It's a fake! The Tulane front seven buys the play action hook, line and sinker. Respecting the Rutgers run game, the D-Line and all three linebackers converge on the run action, leaving Caroo and Turzilli one on one with two overmatched defensive backs.
What's remarkable about this play is how well it's constructed on all three levels. The run fake is well done. Turzilli runs an exceptional route, getting his man way back on his heels, as we can see below. Perhaps most importantly, Gary Nova identifies the safe throw to get the first down, opting not to take a deep shot to a streaking Leonte Carroo. When Gary releases the football, notice where his front foot is. Firmly planted in the turf, right where it should be.
All that said, this play is a nice first down unless Turzilli - at this point famous/infamous for falling down after making big catches - can turn it upfield.
Turzilli takes it to the house, blowing away the defensive players (and speedy WR Leonte Carroo) on his way to a massive 93 yard touchdown reception. 21-0 Rutgers and the rout is on.
Miss on that play and its first and ten Tulane at around the 50. However, the Rutgers offense took a smart gamble on the play and it paid off, due to excellent execution on every level of the offense.
Next up, Michigan. The winningest program in college football history. We're going to need a few momentum shifts in our favor in order to keep up with the raw talent on the field. Hopefully we'll have a Knight's Charge worth talking about this time next week.
Onward to victory, Knights!