Monday Practice Report: Rivalry Week

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers continues to stay focused on preparing for Penn State with distractions building as game day approaches. Monday’s media morning included more Penn State talk from coach Kyle Flood and his players from inside the Hale Center.

Rutgers kicks of its Big Ten schedule in style Saturday night in primetime against Penn State. A budding rivalry with plenty of offseason chatter, the players and coach Kyle Flood begin previewing the game Monday morning.

The Headline -- All in their own ways, Rutgers football made it clear that this game against Penn State means something. It is hard to have a rivalry when the two have not yet played, but the roster is eager to make a statement.

Flood will do his best throughout the week to keep Rutgers focused on the game itself, and not the distractions that come with a sold out night game.

“I want them to be excited about this game," Flood said. "They should be excited about this game. Games like this are the reason you play college football at a place like Rutgers.

I don't want to temper that in any way. But there is a process that we go through every week to get ready for the game and that really needs to be our focus day-in and day-out.

Worth Noting -- In looking bad at a poor defensive performance against Howard, senior safety Johnathan Aiken admitted to being unfocused heading into the game.

“I haven’t lost faith,” Aiken said. “That was a game that we played down to our opponents. Even though we had two other games we were trying to focus on, we always kept [Penn State] in the corner of our minds.”

Quote of the Day -- “We want this one bad. Coach Flood doesn’t even speak of their names. They’re just our neighbors to the west. His level is so high that everybody wants to play for coach Flood. We want this just as bad for him so he can put this on his resume.” -- Aiken

On the Other Side -- Penn State’s student ticket allotment for Saturday sold out within an hour, reported’s Penn State affiliate.

You can follow the latest on Penn State throughout the week over here.

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

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