Rutgers was outclassed by Nebraska, 31-14 and was weak in all 3 aspects of the game. Let's take a look at how each unit did individually.
QB: Chris Laviano, specifically, was awful. One of his two interceptions was an afwul decision thrown into double coverage to a receiver who never actually beat either of the defenders. At this point in the season, Laviano shouldn't be making those mistakes. In addition, he was constantly underthowing receivers and making poor decisions. He finished 12-27 for 165 yards with 0 TDs and 2 INTs. To put things into perspective, he was outplayed by the 5-11 kick returner. Laviano has yet to throw a TD since the game against Indiana a month ago. Grade: F
HB: Josh Hicks had one of the better games of his young career. Robert Martin was decent, and scored the starting offense's first TD since Indiana. They were the strongest offensive unit by far, but mainly since everyone else on the offense was awful. Grade: B
WR: Leonte Carroo had a decent game, as did Janarion Grant, but neither blew me away. With the exception of an incredible catch near the goal line to set up a TD, Carroo was very quiet. Grant caught a 40-yard pass in garbage to help pad his stats, but didn't get the ball enough during the real game. He needs to get the ball in his hands 10 times a game on offense. Grade: C+
TE: The tight ends were mainly invisible once again, with the exception of a nice catch by Charles Scarff. They have been pretty lackluster the past month or so. They have become an unneccesary part of the offense, as they are collectively under-average blockers and have not made an impact in the passing game in recent memory. Grade: D+
OL: Easily the worst unit on the field on Saturday, the O-Linemen simply got dominated by a D-Line not exactly known for being great. The HBs were constantly fighting off tacklers in the backfield and Chris Laviano was pressured way too much. Grade: Whatever comes after F
DL: Once again, the defensive line failed to make an impact. The lone sack for Rutgers came from LB Steve Longa. Kemoko Turay is still missing and the much hyped JPO failed to register a statistic. As a unit, they may be the biggest disappointment this year. HOWEVER, the big man Kevin WIlkins snagged an interception!!! He is the only thing saving these guys from failing. Grade: D
LB: Once against, the veteran linebackers emerge as the best unit on the defense. OLB Steve Longa had 9 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. MLB Kaiwan Lewis had 13 tackles and OLB Quentin Gause, the best player on the defense, had 5 tackles and 2 TFLs. Another strong showing by an incredibly thin unit that needs everyone to step up. Grade: A-
DB: Anthony Cioffi and Saquan Hampton each intercepted a pass, Isaiah Whartin had a TFL, and Blessuan Auston had a FF. That all sounds pretty good. However, they left a Nebraska receiver WIDE OPEN in the endzone on a broken play and were constantly late when breaking routes. They were leaving massive windows for Tommy Armstrong Jr. who exposed them in the red zone. Another overall dismal performance, but they have certainly done worse. Grade: C
Not-So-Special Teams: F
- Awful kickoffs
- Awful punting
- Awful FG kicking
- Awful fake punt execution
- No KR TDs (Yes I expect those)
- No blocked kicked (I expect these too)
This team does not appear to be strong in any of the 3 major aspects of football. This team in desperate need of a clean slate.
If you disagree, feel free to drop a comment below.