Rutgers vs Washington: Stock Up, Stock Down
The Rutgers football team put together a strong performance against No. 8 Washington on Friday night, but the Huskies put together a much better second half to secure the 30-14 victory.
These players performed well and improved their stock
HB Robert Martin
With the emergence of Gus Edwards, Martin had to transition into a backup role. However, he looked like the best running back on Friday night, as he showed great speed hitting the hole and did a great job of getting yards after contact. He finished with 55 rushing yards on 13 carries and should see his role expand even more.
SS Kiy Hester
There had been rumblings of Hester's role shrinking with the emergence of KJ Gray, but Hester made multiple important plays for the Knights on defense. Washington had possession inside the Rutgers 10-yard line in the first half and Hester made huge back to back plays. On second down, he tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage and on third down, he broke up a pass near the goal line to force a field goal. He was all over the field and looked really good as the starting strong safety.
DL Willington Previlon
The sophomore was listed as a co-backup at defensive end, but was a force in the backfield whenever he was in the game. Not only did he get a hit on Washington quarterback Jake Browning, but he batted down two passes as well. Rutgers needs all the depth it can on the defensive line and Previlon proved that he can be a key piece for that unit this season and in the future.
These players did not perform well and need to show improvement.
OLB Trevor Morris
Expectations were raised for the second-year starter, but he was on the wrong end of three big plays for Washington. The first one was when Myles Gaskin beat him on a wheel route and Morris didn't turn his head to make a play on the ball. The second was when Rutgers had good pressure on quarterback Jake Browning and he dumped it off to Gaskin in the flat. Morris took a poor angle and missed badly and Gaskin got a huge gain. The following play, Browning went right after Morris again, throwing a wheel route to Gaskin who once again beat Morris, that time for a touchdown.
WR/KR Janarion Grant
Grant came into the game as the best player on the team. However, the 5th-year senior made several crucial errors on special teams. On two punts, he decided not to call for a fair catch and they were downed at the 1 and 2-yard lines. On a kickoff, he tried to return it from 5 yards deep in the end zone and only made it out to the 7-yard line when Washington's coverage unit was already deep down the field.
Head Coach Chris Ash
Rutgers needed to make big plays and take chances in order to upset Washington. Ash did not seem content with that, as he coached a very conservative game. On the first possession of the 3rd quarter, down 10-7, he elected to punt on 4th-and-1 at the Washington 44-yard line. The Huskies scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession and took control of the game from there on out. Without question, that was the defining play of the game. Ash also displayed poor clock-management skills, as let way too much time go off the clock on the final drive of the first half, leading to a missed 46-yard field goal attempt, one that should've been much closer, at the very least.