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November 17, 2012

Rutgers vs. Cincinnati: Did you Notice?

CINCINNATI - Rutgers remained undefeated in Big East play with a 10-3 victory over Cincinnati as the Scarlet Knights moved to 9-1 on the season. During this afternoon's victory inside Nippert Stadium, did you notice...

Thompson getting active?
On the first two Cincinnati drives, defensive end Marcus Thompson was very active. He came from the opposite side of the field to run quarterback Brendon Kay out of bounds on the first play for only a one-yard gain. Later in the quarter, Thompson also chased down a running play from the opposites side of the field, limiting George Winn to a three-yard gain. Thompson also drew double teams on a couple of pass plays during the second drive of the game.

Bachety running routes?
On Rutgers' third play from scrimmage, Gary Nova rolled right and one of his targets on the play was backup tight end Beau Bachety who was running a short crossing route. Nova looked off Bachety and found Mark Harrison for a 14-yard gain. Bachety later found himself as the lone receiving target in the endzone on a 2nd down play late in the third quarter, but Nova threw the ball away as Bachety was covered tightly.

RU controlling the trenches?
The RU offensive line did a good job of controlling the trenches through the first quarter as the Scarlet Knight running backs averaged 5.6 yards per carry, totaling 43 rushing yards in the first fifteen minutes of play. That production continued through the second quarter as RU added another 81 yards on 15 carries to finish the half with 134 rushing yards.

3rd and 8?
Savon Huggins gained 12 yards on two carries after two penalties pushed RU back to a 1st and 20 early in the second quarter. Then, on a 3rd and 8 Cincinnati stacked the box with seven players and Brandon Coleman freed himself up on a deep route. However, Nova did not see him and hurried a sideline throw on what turned out to be an incomplete pass intended for Tim Wright.

Huggins setting up the pass?
On a 1st and 10 midway through the second quarter on the RU 18-yard line, Savon Huggins took a handoff and ran very hard through a few arm tackles for an 8-yard gain, arguably his most impressive run of the half. He then carried for a tough three yards to gain a first down. Those plays allowed RU to set up an effective play-action pass on the next play in which Nova found Harrison for a 71-yard touchdown.

Vallone pressuring the QB?
On a 3rd and 7 with just over five minutes to play in the second quarter, Scott Vallone fought through a double team and nearly threw UC quarterback Brendon Kay for a loss. Kay escaped Vallone's grasp, but that pressure forced an incompletion and handed the ball back to the RU offense.

4th and 1?
The RU linebackers showed up on a 4th and 1 deep in RU territory in the third quarter. Senior captain Steve Beauharnais was the first player in the backfield and got a piece of ball carrier George Winn before fellow captain Khaseem Greene shot in right behind him and wrapped Winn up to deny Cincinnati a first down.

The young DT's?
On a key series at the midway point of the third quarter, Cincinnati took control of the ball near midfield following a three and out by Rutgers. As the RU defense took the field, Darius Hamilton and Kenneth Kirksey trotted out as the two defensive tackles. Hamilton and Kirksey combined on a first-down tackle that resulted a two-yard loss. On the next play, the two applied pressure as Kay threw an interception into the hands of Beauharnais.

Helping Huggins over 100?
Huggins had some help from R.J. Dill and D.C. Jefferson in the third quarter as both players had good blocks on a tough 8-yard run that put Huggins over 100 yards for the day. On the very next play, Dill went down with an injury but returned after sitting out just one play.

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