Wednesday Practice Report: Adjusting the D

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers has just a short Thursday practice and Friday walkthrough before packing up for Annapolis, Md. and the Navy game. Head coach Kyle Flood spoke after practice about special teams, Josh Hicks, the triple option and announced Tim Gleeson as his starting punter.

Rutgers finished its final padded practice before Navy with an increased amount of hitting to prepare for the physical style of the triple option. Pleased with how Rutgers handled the increased hitting this week, coach Kyle Flood addressed the latest after practice.

The Headline -- The traditional Rutgers scheme against the triple option includes a third safety on the field. Now professional baseball player Pat Kivlehan played that role to perfection during the last two clashes against the triple option.

The job this time falls upon three safeties – Johnathan Aiken, Delon Stephenson and Davon Jacobs.

“I would say all three of those guys going into the game have embraced their role for the game because it’s different,” Flood said. “It’s a different week. It’s a different role. I think a guy like Pat Kivlehan really embraced his role this week and became a very valuable piece of the puzzle in our defense. I think those three guys have embraced it.”

Worth Noting -- Rutgers used both freshmen running backs Robert Martin and Josh Hicks on the scout team this week to prepare for Navy. Though both have played this season, Flood used their extra athleticism to give the defense the best look possible at what Navy does in its triple option.

Quote of the Day -- “The way Navy runs their offense, it’s an up-front battle. The two guys, the tackle and the nose tackle, they have to be really on their keys because they’re getting cut. They’re getting doubled. There’s pass situations. There’s a lot of things to practice because the nose guard has to be the most in-tuned guy on the field.” – Senior nose tackle Kenneth Kirksey.

On the Other Side -- Senior quarterback Keenan Reynolds is expected to return from a knee injury this week after missing the victory over Texas State. Reynolds is 16-7 as a starting quarterback and the senior led the NCAA with 31 rushing touchdowns at quarterback last season.

You can read more on the Reynolds injury front over here.


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


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