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October 13, 2012

Rutgers vs. Syracuse: Did you Notice?

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - It was another win for Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights moved to 6-0 with a 23-15 defeat over Syracuse inside High Point Solutions Stadium on Saturday afternoon. In the midst of the team's latest win, did you notice...

Carroo on the tackle?
True freshman Leonte Carroo made his biggest impact of the season on Syracuse's first punt of the game when he fended off a block and not only took away the corner from Cuse punt rturner Steve Rene, but he also made a solo tackle to stop him for only a five-yard gain.

Mixing up the pressure?
Cuse came out and moved the ball downfield on its opening drive, averaging 9.2 yards on its first five plays against a more conventional defensive set. Then, on a 2nd and 4, pressure came from Brandon Jones on a corner blitz. Jones sacked Cuse quarterback Ryan Nassib, but a holding penalty ensued and pushed the Orange back ten yards. On the next play, Ka'Lial Glaud ran a stunt and came through for a sack that dropped quarterback Nassib for an 11-yard loss.

The kicking game
True freshman kicker Kyle Federico was dressed for the game while new walk-on kicker Joe Behnke did not suit up. Nick Borgese handled the placekicking duties while Anthony Dipaula handled the kickoff duties. Borgese made good on two out of his three extra-point attempts and also connected on a 25-yard field goal.

Flood pumping up the crowd?
On a 3rd and long late in the first quarter, head coach Kyle Flood was very animated waving his arms up in the air and running up the sidelines, urging the crowd to make noise. The crowd responded and despite an incompletion, a phantom holding penalty was called on Brandon Jones, granting the Orange a first down.

Bergen's missed block?
Fullback Sam Bergen entered the game on a 3rd down play late in the first quarter and was a lead blocker for Jawan Jamison on a nicely set up screen play. However, Bergen whiffed badly on his block which led to a stop in which Jamison was denied a first down.

The long pass attempts?
On successive plays that started off on a 2nd and 5 at the RU 49 yard-line early in the second quarter, Rutgers attempted two deep balls, each on opposites of the field intended for Mark Harrison and Brandon Coleman. Both passes fell incomplete and Rutgers was forced to punt.

Hamilton slowing the play?
On a 2nd down and 3 late in the second quarter, defensive tackle Darius Hamilton burst into the backfield and disrupted the course of running back Jerome Smith. Hamilton did not make the tackle, but enabled Duron Harmon to come up and make the play stopping Smith a yard shy of the first-down marker.

Gashing the middle?
Through the second quarter and first part of the third quarter, Syracuse experienced quite a bit of success utilizing the middle of the field against the RU defense. Nassib continually found open receivers over the middle while running back Jerome Smith continually found running room up the gut.

The field goal Déjà vu?
Just as he did last year against Syracuse, linebacker Jamal Merrell blocked a field goal that was returned for a touchdown. The latest one was returned by Duron Harmon while the one in 2011 was returned by Marcus Cooper. However, Cooper's was called back because of a holding penalty.

The coverage?
When Rutgers needed a third down stop midway through the third quarter, the RU secondary locked down the Cuse receivers and enabled the pass rush to catch up to Nassib and force a fumble that gave the ball back to the offense near midfield.

A little less laundry?
The penalties went way down this week for the Scarlet Knights, who came into the game with a FBS high 51 penalties. Rutgers was flagged a total of three times on the day. One was a very questionable holding call on Brandon Jones and the next was a personal foul call on Khaseem Greene. The third was a pass interference call on Kevin Snyder in the endzone on a fourth down play.

Setting up the pass?
Halfway through the third quarter, three straight runs by Jawan Jamison resulted in a first down and seemed to get the running game going. But not only did those plays move the chains, they also enabled the offense to go play action on the next play, which resulted in a 14-yard completion to Brandon Coleman to put the ball on the Cuse 26-yard line.

Huggins' first appearance?
Running back Savon Huggins did not enter the game until the 1:56 mark of the third quarter and carried on two consecutive plays, but wound up gaining zero yards on those two rushes.

Logan's somersault?
Following a 3rd down stop in which Logan Ryan upended Cuse's Adonis Ameen-Moore for a one-yard loss on the 3-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, he immediately did a celebratory somersault in the Orange backfield.

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