Rutgers Defense Scores and Blanks Hokies for Three Quarters
News: The Rutgers defense recovered a first quarter fumble for the Scarlet Knights' lone touchdown. Virginia Tech was scoreless through three quarters in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Friday.
Analysis: The Hokies only had 196 yards and three turnovers, but the Rutgers offense could not generate any points. The Scarlet Knights were somewhat susceptible to long passes throughout the season and Virginia Tech drove down the field in the early fourth quarter for their lone touchdown.
News: The Rutgers defense shut down the Louisville rushing attack (just 42 yards), but had seemed surprised by Cardinal QB Teddy Bridgewater's ability to play with a broken wrist.
Analysis: The Scarlet Knights had little trouble stopped Louisville when Will Stein was the quarterback, but the Cardinals had an extra spark with Bridgewater. Rutgers did have an interception, but couldn't get critical stops in the fourth quarter.
News: The Rutgers were outslugged by the Pittsburgh on Saturday. Pitt scored three touchdowns in the second quarter, but only managed six points in the rest of the game.
Analysis: Captain Kaseem Greene was knocked out of the game briefly after a head-to-head hit on punt coverage, but the Scarlet Knight defense had already started to crack. Greene returned to face his half-brother, Ray Graham, who ran for a surprising 113 yards. The defense will be challenged by Teddy Bridgewater and Louisville next week in the regular season finale.
News: The Scarlet Knight defense allowed Cincinnati to score just three points.
Analysis: The Bearcats had not scored fewer than 23 points in any game prior to Saturday. Cincinnati did not score until 11 seconds were left. Rutgers only allowed 90 rushing yards.
News: The Rutgers defense came up with some big plays in the first half, then shut down the Army offense in the second half on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights blocked two field goals and forced three fumbles.
Analysis: The Black Knights' triple option was successful against the tough front of the Scarlet Knight defense in the first half, but that success did not translate into more than a touchdown. The strong linebacking corps of Rutgers did a nice job in the second half of maintaining their gaps.
News: The Scarlet Knight defense spent the bye week preparing for Army's triple-option offense, the Star-Ledger reports.
Analysis: The Rutgers defense was very staunch against the run before Kent State put the hurt on them for 224 yards prior to the bye. With Army, the Knights won't need to worry much about passing and will be concentrate on maintaining their gaps.
News: The Scarlet Knights gave up 224 yards rushing to the Golden Flashes and suffered their first loss of the season.
Analysis: The Rutgers defense had been almost impenetrable before facing Kent State. The Scarlet Knights fell into an early deficit and were not able to make a comeback.
News: The Rutgers defense allowed just 72 passing yards to Temple on Saturday and scored on a fumble return to finish the scoring.
Analysis: The Scarlet Knight defense might be the best unit in the Big East. The Louisville offense could also be considered. The Owls were only able to gain 191 total yards and the Knights forced three turnovers.
News: The Rutgers defense forced two fumbles and two interceptions and only allowed Syracuse 62 rushing yards on Saturday.
Analysis: The Scarlet Knight defense has some problems in the secondary and Syracuse was able to take advantage with 356 passing yards. The Knights also blocked a field goal and returned the ball 75 yards for a touchdown.
News:Rutgers is ready for the high-powered, hurry-up Syracuse offense, the Star-Ledger reports.
Analysis: Syracuse has been proficient through the air and on the ground, but Rutgers is second nationally against the run and is number 15 in total defense. No team has been able to run on the Scarlet Knights, although Arkansas was able to get yards via passing. The Orange won a 19-16 overtime game at the Carrier Dome in 2011.
News: The Rutgers defense limited the Huskies to three points and just 53 rushing yards in 28 carries on Saturday. The unit also had a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Analysis: The front seven of the Rutgers defense is excellent. If the opponent can keep their quarterback standing, some openings can be found. Rutgers face Syracuse next weekend.
News:Rutgers limited USF to 13 points and 95 rushing yards on Thursday. The defense also had four turnovers.
Analysis: The Scarlet Knight defense was dominant in the first half and the only real positive plays for the Bulls came on penalties and one contested jumpball. USF did get some big yardage plays in the second half through the air. The Knight defense should be tested again a week from Saturday against Arkansas.
News:Rutgers shut out Howard on Saturday.
Analysis: The Scarlet Knights allowed just 12 points on the road against Tulane in Week 1, so Rutgers' defense is looking strong like it does every year. This week's road game against South Florida is a much stiffer test.
News:Rutgers defense shut out Howard on Saturday and only allowed 149 total yards.
Analysis: This performance was expected for the Scarlet Knights who boast one of the more experienced defenses in the Big East. They will be tested more next week against South Florida in the conference opener.
News: Games against overwhelmed opponents tend to be a good opportunity to rack up some stats, and that's exactly what the Rutgers defense did in its 48-0 win over North Carolina Central. The Scarlet Knights tallied nine sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Rutgers scored a touchdown on both a fumble recovery and an interception.
Analysis: If you saw this matchup and decided to play the Rutgers defense, good move. Tough to see this kind of performance happening again next week at North Carolina but this is a good step in the right direction for a unit that struggled last year.
News: Rutgers freshman Tejay Johnson has moved from wide receiver to cornerback. With his build (6'2", 186) the promising freshman could make a bigger impact on defense given the depth and experience that Rutgers has at receiver.
Analysis: Johnson wasn't going to be of much value offensively this season, so the position move may be his best bet for getting onto the field.
News: Rutgers senior defensive end Manny Abreu had to be carted off the field with an injury while freshman defensive back Rashad Knight will need surgery on a broken bone in his foot (and could be out for the season). Starting cornerback Logan Ryan went down with a leg injury but it didn't look to be serious. Four other players missed their third straight day of practice, including running back Jawan Jamison and starting left guard Desmond Wynn.
Analysis: To lose Abreu, who was moved from linebacker to defensive end in hopes that he'd add a spark to the pass rush, would be a big loss if he's out for an extended period of time.
News:Analysis: Rutgers allowed 14 points while totaling two interceptions, one sack and three fumble recoveries. A nice showing, but we're not sure we like them against an apparently improved North Carolina offense.
News: Rutgers sacked Louisville quarterback Adam Froman twice, and also recovered a fumble in their 34-14 win against Louisville on Friday.
Analysis: Rutgers finishes the season against West Virginia on Saturday.
Rutgers Defense Struggles in Stunning Loss to Cuse
News: Rutgers' defense struggled mightily against Syracuse on Saturday, with the lone bright spot being a safety when the ball went through the end zone.
Analysis: Rutgers forced no turnovers and had no sacks. They hope to rebound against Louisville on Saturday.
News: Rutgers had two interceptions and also recovered two fumbles in their shutout victory over South Florida on Thursday.
Analysis: Rutgers should put up similar numbers against a bad Syracuse offense. Rutgers next plays Saturday, November 21.
News: Rutgers intercepted UConn backup quarterback Zach Frazer three times as he came in for injured starter Cody Endres in a 28-24 win on Saturday.
Analysis: Frazer struggled in his time, but actually led UConn on two late scoring drives in the fourth quarter, wearing down the Rutgers defense. Rutgers plays South Florida on Thursday, November 12.
News: Rutgers recovered three fumbles, and also scored on a blocked punt in their win against Army.
Analysis: Rutgers next plays UConn on Saturday, in what will be the Huskies first home game since the tragic loss of starting cornerback Jasper Howard. It might be tough for Rutgers to combat the emotions at Rentschler Field, so it may be wise to bench their defense.