October 10, 2013
Rutgers vs. Louisville: Did you notice...
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Rutgers hung around but just couldn't make enough plays as the Scarlet Knights fell to the Cardinals by a score of 17-10. In the midst of the Rutgers' loss, did you notice...
On Louisville's first two completions, RU linebacker Lew Toler lined up about eight yards off the line of scrimmage, giving UofL wide receiver Damian Copeland a huge cushion. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater took advantage of that cushion and moved the chains twice, completing passes for 11 and 14 yards. Toler was hurt on the second completion and did not return.
Jersey on Jersey?
Midway through the first quarter, Nadir Barnwell halted the Cardinals' chance to score a ftouchdown by providing tight coverage in the corner of the endzone on Louisville wide receiver Kai DeLa Cruz. DeLa Cruz was recruited out of St. Joe's Montvale and during his recruitment he went by the name Kai Dominguez.
The empty backfield?
Rutgers got away with four straight empty backfield sets on its second drive of the game, but Louisville responded on the fifth straight play. With only Gary Nova in the backfield, Louisville drew up a blitz scheme that fooled Taj Alexander and resulted in a sack by defensive end Marcus Smith.
Defensive coordinator Dave Cohen drew up a nice play when he sent Davon Jacobs in on a delayed blitz on a 3rd down and 5 late in the first quarter. Jacobs came clear and combined with Jamil Merrell to sack Bridgewater.
The deja vu?
Just as Gary Nova and Brandon Coleman were not on the same page at the end of last year's Louisville game, when an interception virtually ended RU's comeback hopes, the duo were out of sync once again. This one came on an interception to close out the first quarter when the two were on obvious different pages. James Burgess stepped up and intercepted the pass as Coleman ran a route away from the ball. Coincidentally, Burgess also intercepted a fourth quarter pass last year against Rutgers.
Deja vu struck later in the second quarter when J.T. Tartacoff completed a pass on a fake field goal for a 27-yard gain. Tartacoff made a similar pass on a fake field goal last year against Louisville but it was called back because of an RU penalty.
The O-line shuffle?
After Taj Alexander allowed a sack and struggled through the first quarter, Andre Civil took over at right tackle. Then, later on in the second quarter, Antwan Lowery stepped in for Chris Muller at right guard. Muller came back in to close out the first half but Civil stayed on until the last part of the third quarter when Alexander returned for one play before he went down with injury. Once Alexander walked off under his own power, Civil played the rest of the way.
Barnwell getting taken to school?
Nadir Barnwell showed signs that he is still a true freshman on Louisville's first drive of the second half. Barnwell was a step behind Damian Copeland on three completions that were all good four double-digit yardage gains. The next time Louisville got the ball, Anthony Cioffi stepped in at corner for Barnwell and recovered a fumble.
Getting the running game going?
The Rutgers running game finally got going midway through the third quarter when Justin Goodwin reeled off runs of 16 and 8 yards over the right side of the line behind Chris Muller and Andre Civil. Goodwin then made a nice cut to pick up the first down on the next play which resulted in a 3-yard gain. Rutgers then went back to the pass and Goodwin failed to pick up a blitzing Hakeem Smith and. As a result, Nova was sacked for a seven-yard loss. Savon Huggins came back on the next drive and made a very nice cut on an 11-yard run that moved RU into field goal position.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Rutgers shot itself in the foot on a first down pass to Ruhann Peele when Kaleb Johnson was called for a clipping penalty. The penalty pushed RU back to its own 26-yard line facing a 1st and 25 instead of a 1st and 10 around midfield.
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