Wednesday Practice Report: Bye Product

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The bye week is about individual improvement, developing young players and getting healthy. For Rutgers that means abbreviated practices and a chance to get back to fundamentals.

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood met with the media Wednesday to discuss the second of three bye week practices and some of the keys to a 5-1 start for the Scarlet Knights.

The Headline -- Rutgers sets aside 30 minutes of developmental-only practice during the bye week. This allows a chance to rest and lift for the proven guys, and time to work closely with the coaches for young players.

Through two practices, the young defensive players impressed Flood.

“The defensive young kids were a little bit more prepared to play today than the offensive kids were,” Flood said. “I can’t tell you I have the answer to why, because they’re getting an opportunity at the end of practices to really show the coaching staff what they can do.”

Freshman linebacker Brandon Russell, who enrolled early, stood out to Flood during Wednesday’s practice. Russell was close to playing time with linebacker injuries earlier this year, but is expected to redshirt.

“A guy like Brandon Russell, he came to play today,” Flood said. “It was good to see him out there.”

Worth Noting -- When asked about quarterback Gary Nova’s strong statistics through the midway point, Flood credited Nova but also turned to the performances of the offensive line and receivers. He noted specifically that the receivers are catching the ball for him – that was not the case during some of the low points for Nova the last two years.

Quote of the Day -- “If you want to have an opportunity to have a special season, and we’ve earned the opportunity right now to have a really special season, but you never do it without your seniors. And your seniors have to play their best football.”

-- Flood.

On the Other Side -- Scoring in the red zone has been an issue at times for Ohio State this season. With the Rutgers ability to block field goals, it creates a chance to even the playing field in two weeks.

You can read more about the redzone on’s Ohio State site over here.

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

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