Wednesday Practice Report: Special Teams Talk

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Game day is approaching with the final full practice before Howard complete. Head coach Kyle Flood met the media after practice with discussions about special teams and the latest at running back.

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood is focused on going 1-0 against Howard this week. The Scarlet Knights concluded Wednesday’s practice with the start of the home season just three days away.

The Headline -- Special teams took over the conversation after today’s practice with praise for kicker Kyle Federico and his improvement in the offseason. After an inconsistent start to last season, Federico caught his stride in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. That carried over through the offseason, and resulted in two field goals against Washington State.

“I do think his field goal kicking has been more consistent,” Flood said. “Other than the one day in training camp, I feel like he’s had a really good fall. He had one poor scrimmage. … We’re pleased I think he’s kicking the ball like a third-year kid.”

Federico had a solid showing on kickoffs against Washington State with multiple touchbacks.

Worth Noting -- Freshman running backs Josh Hicks and Robert Martin are close to playing, Flood said. He said he has interest in playing both but that it is hard to find opportunities with the strong performances from Paul James and Desmon Peoples. Look for both to start off on special teams.

Quote of the Day -- “I remember it was very cold. It was freezing that day, the breeze coming right off the water and it was pretty cold. I remember they called my name. It was probably two minutes left in the game. I hear my name called, oh man I’m trying to stretch real fast. I remember jogging out to the field in the huddle, and I was so nervous. I had butterflies in my stomach. … I get the ball, I get tackled, I probably got like one yard or two yards. After that first tackle, I lose everything. I’m ready to go.”

-- Paul James on his Rutgers debut.

On the Other Side -- Howard coach Gary Harrell credited Akron for forcing the Bison into an uncomfortable playing style in the 41-0 loss in the opener. Rutgers will look to do the same by getting physical offensively and returning to its standard defense after the three safety look against Washington State.

Check out more of Harrell’s post-game comments over here.

Now sit back and take in Flood’s press conference.

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