Friday Night Notebook: Moving Forward

Rutgers goes into the bye week without momentum after a 24-10 loss to No. 8 Louisville Thursday night. Following the loss and four interceptions from quarterback Gary Nova, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood discussed the latest on his day-after teleconference.

Cornerback will be a focus for Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood in the bye week following a 24-10 loss to No. 8 Louisville. Fifth-year senior transfer Lew Toler is likely out for the season following a broken arm suffered in the fourth quarter, and true freshman Anthony Cioffi saw his largest role to date.

"I don't think the expectation changes one bit," Flood said. "I want them to do their jobs within the scheme of the defense."

Rutgers gets back junior Gareef Glashen this week after missing the last two games because of unspecified personal concerns. Flood said the reason was not disciplinary and that he will be back this week and remain a part of the cornerback rotation.

Cioffi, who forced a fumble Thursday night, will see a larger role at cornerback following the injury to Toler.

"I'm pleased with what he did," Flood said. "I'm excited. He certainly had opportunities within the system to make some plays on defense and he did that. I think the other thing he did was show up on special teams.

"He's the first guy down there on punts. Those are fair caught, but you could see it very clearly that he is the first one down there in very good position to make the tackle if it wasn't fair caught. So I think Anthony is improving week by week."

State of the Union

Rutgers (4-2, 1-1) is at the midway point in the season, giving Flood a chance to reflect on what happened in the first half of the year.

"We are what our record says we are," Flood said. "We're a 4-2 football team. We're 1-1 in conference play and we've got a tremendous opportunity ahead of us with the next six games. But you can't play six games at a time. You only get to play one at a time. And the one we're going to play is not for two weeks. I think it's our best interest of the program to really focus on us right now."

Bye Week

Rutgers has the weekend off before returning to work for a bye week to get ready for Houston on Homecoming. Flood has no primary goals in the bye other than getting better.

"As a program, we've got a six-game sample," Flood said. "And we've got to look at it. We've got to examine where are strengths are. We've got to examine where are deficiencies are

"As a coaching staff, we've got between now and Tuesday to make those evaluations and set a course of action for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday because when we come back the following Thursday we'll be getting ready for Houston."

True freshmen will be in the spotlight with chances to earn immediate playing time. Defensive end Kemoko Turay and wide receiver John Tsimis travelled but did not play in the last two games, but Rutgers will look across the board for an impact.

"We have to look at every player on the team and make sure that if there is somewhere in the game plan that they can helps us that we utilize them," Flood said. "It's a long season and we're only six games into a 12-game regular season so we've got a lot of football left to play."

Eight Sacks

Junior quarterback Gary Nova had a rough night on the Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and the pass protection played a key role in his struggles, Flood said.

"I don't think there is a quarterback that plays football that wouldn't be affected by the breakdowns in protection that occurred last night," Flood said. "So if you are asking me if that was the case, was he affected by the breakdowns in protection, I would say yes."


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