football

Game Notebook: Rutgers comes up short

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color:black;background:white">Play of the Day:

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color:black;background:white;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold">Rutgers
fell behind
10-3 in the first quarter and needed an offensive response. On 2nd-and-7
from
the RU 28, quarterback Chas Dodd generated just that, lofting a
long
51-yard completion down the right sideline to wide receiver
Brandon Coleman,
who beat Notre Dame cornerback Bennett Jackson. The play gave
Rutgers a
much-needed shot in the arm, and Dodd's 14-yard hookup with
Coleman three plays
later tied the score at 10.
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Runner up: 

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italic">Rutgers was trailing 3-0 and preparing to punt to Notre
Dame after
going three and out on its opening drive. Nick Marsh's kick was
muffed by T.J.
Jones at the ND 28, and a hit by a hustling Anthony Cioffi
prevented Jones from
getting a grasp on it. Instead, linebacker Quentin Gause scooped
up the loose
ball and put Rutgers in position to earn its first points of the
day.
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color:black;background:white">The Turning Point:
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color:black">With the score tied at 13, the Scarlet Knights had
momentum and
were moving the ball in ND territory. From there, offensive
coordinator Ron
Prince got too cute, calling for a halfback option pass with
Justin Goodwin. Goodwin
threw an ill-advised, underthrown pass to Brandon Coleman, which
Notre Dame
cornerback KeiVarae Russell intercepted at the one-yard line.
Instead of an
important score before halftime, Rutgers had to settle for a
13-13 tie.

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Memorable Moment:

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italic">Really multiple moments in one. Janarion Grant's kickoff
returns of 51,
44 and 32 yards were another indication of what the freshman is
capable of
doing when he has the ball in open space and the lift he can
provide a team.
Integrating Grant into the offense next season will be a
necessary task for
coordinator Ron Prince.

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Forgettable Moment:
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Roman"">The
game was tied 10-10 when Rutgers took over at its own 18
following a Notre Dame
punt with 14:04 left in the second quarter. On the first play of
the series,
Dodd fired a pass to Coleman on a hitch route to the right.
Jackson, the ND
defender, may have hit Coleman early and gotten away with a pass
interference
penalty, but regardless, the throw was poor and deflected. Notre
Dame
linebacker Kendall Moore made a diving interception, the first
of his career,
and it led to an Irish field goal and a 13-10 advantage.
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Quotables
Kyle Flood on why his team played so much off-coverage and if
he considered switching
to more press coverage after they surrendered a lot of shorter
completions:
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"I didn't think either team really broke
well on the ball. Yeah, I felt the surface was a good surface
when we were out
here yesterday. I think what happened was as the weather got
warmer and the
ground thawed, it really got soft. That was, I think, the reason
why some of
the players were slipping a bit out there.

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put a
defense together, if you do one thing, you're going to give up
something else,
and we had made the decision that we were going to try to limit
the big plays.
To do that, if you start getting in press man coverage, now
you're opening up
opportunities for big plays."

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linebacker Steve
Longa on what he takes out of this game:
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"We've got a good defense. We've got a
good team. We've got a good offense. We've just got to play 100
percent and
have fun when we're out there. This season didn't go as we
thought it would.
But you've got to own up to your stuff. I can't wait to come
back next year and
play with my teammates and show people what we've got, because I
see a bright
future for us."
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Chas Dodd on if
he felt like the offense left some points out on the field:
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"I definitely think so. I think the
entire day we left some on the board. And again, that's
attributed to our
execution. If we just here and there a few plays, if we did
better on those and
executed them better, I think it would be a different game."
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New Roman";
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New
Roman";color:black;background:white">Scarlet
Nation whack of the game:
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color:black;background:white">The whacks were supplied in
abundance by the turf
at Yankee Stadium. The surface, which was shoddy two years ago,
was no better
today. Players, and officials, spent much of the afternoon
slipping and on
several occasions, falling over completely. Given the multiple
times it has
occurred, this problem appears to be a staple of football games
at Yankee
Stadium.
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color:black;background:white">The Stock Market
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color:black;background:white">Stock Up
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color:black;background:white">Quentin Gause. With Jamal Merrell
sidelined,
Gause stated his case for earning serious consideration in the
off-season for a
starting role next year. He was active all afternoon, recording
a career-high nine
tackles and recovering Jones' fumbled punt. He also held up in
coverage, and
showed a glimpse he could evolve into more than just a
one-dimensional
run-stuffer. Gause finished with 53 tackles in what was a
breakout season for
him.
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Stock Down
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color:black;background:white">Kevin Snyder. Snyder did a better
job when
matched up against Notre Dame's tight ends, but still has his
struggles in pass
coverage. Against the run, he got caught up in the wash on a few
occasions, and
while he made seven tackles, is not the major force one might
expect from a
WILL linebacker.  
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color:black;background:white">Inside the Numbers

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New Roman"; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New
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New Roman"; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New
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receiver Brandon Coleman finished his Rutgers career tied for
first in career touchdown receptions with 20

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New Roman"; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New
Roman"">Longa's 123 total tackles this season is the most
by a middle linebacker since Gary Brackett's 130 in 2012.

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New Roman"; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New
Roman"">Rutgers had 10 players start all 13 games this
season: WR Brandon Coleman, LT Keith Lumpkin,
LG Kaleb Johnson, K Kyle Federico, DE Marcus
Thompson, NT Isaac Holmes, DE Djwany Mera,
LB Kevin Snyder, LB Steve Longa and P Nick
Marsh.

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New Roman"; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New
Roman"">Janarion Grant's 127 kickoff return yards were a
career-high.

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