Secondary learns from mistakes against Bulldogs
Allowing more than 50 points and 450 passing yards would make any secondary coach cringe.
Junior cornerback Gareef Glashen was a little more blunt about his performance Thursday at Fresno State.
“I feel like I played horrible,” Glashen said. “I feel like I played bad, and that’s the worst game I think I’ve ever had. I just really have to go out there and just get back to the fundamentals to go out there and play better.”
Part of that process included watching his performance play out all over again in the video room.
There, Glashen was able to point out his mistakes, which he said included missed tackles and assignments.
He believes seeing what needs to be corrected from a different perspective is vital.
“It’s very important, just as a whole just to see where we can get better in the little things that will help us have an advantage in games to come,” Glashen said. “It’s just knowing our weak points, so we can go out and practice and work on what we can get better at.”
According to head coach Kyle Flood, Glashen was not the only one at fault.
“On defense we need to tackle better,” Flood said. “When you play against a team that puts as much stress on you all over the field as they do, they really didn’t stress us in terms of throwing the ball down the field. Their stress was really more in terms of spreading the field and making a tackle in space. And there’s no doubt in my mind we are a better tackling football team.”
It is part of the growing pains for the Scarlet Knights secondary, a unit that features three new starters including both corner positions.
Going up against the nation’s leading passing attack is not the ideal situation to break in a green secondary.
Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr threw 456 yards and five touchdowns against Rutgers, continuing last season’s success. He finished last year with 4,104 passing yards and 37 touchdowns.
Carr attempted 73 passes in the contest. Glashen saw the experience as a positive for his unit.
“They had a very great offense and it was very up-tempo and fast,” Glashen. “They got a lot of plays out against us, so that was great for us to see very early. We just have to regroup and adjust to everything in case another team tries to do it.”
That will continue this week as Rutgers begins to prepare for its home opener Saturday against Norfolk State, an FCS opponent for the first of three straight home games for the Knights.
So for now, Glashen and the rest of the secondary will continue with film study and work on fundamentals in practice.
He can only take the positives and negatives from his first start and learn from them.
“We went out there and made a few plays, but I left a lot out there,” Glashen said. “If I would have made those plays, it would have been a big night for me, but it went in the opposite way of what I thought would happen. … That was a big game for us and it didn’t go as planned, but we just have to adjust and regroup and play a lot better.”
For updates on the Rutgers football team, follow Bradly Derechailo on Twitter @Bradly_D. For general Rutgers sports updates, follow @TargumSports.