Sunday Aftermath: Rutgers Bowl Eligible

After freshman tailbacks Josh Hicks and Robert Martin stole the show Saturday in the 45-23 victory for Rutgers over Indiana, coach Kyle Flood offered updates on his four-person rotation at the position heading into Michigan State game week.

Freshmen Josh Hicks and Robert Martin are on their way to a takeover at running back, but the rotation for Michigan State week is not yet set.

Head coach Kyle Flood remained complimentary of both in his day-after teleconference. The pair of three-star 2014 signees combined for 197 of Rutgers’ 212 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

“We’ll decide how the rotation will shake out going forward during the week,” Flood said. “We’ll get all of that settled during practice. What we saw was a couple of guys making some guys miss. It was exciting. Hicks and Martin [got] some yards after contact, making a couple of guys miss in the open field, some explosive runs, things we needed.”

Sophomore Justin Goodwin started before a fumble took him out of the mix. Desmon Peoples fumbled as well, and left the game with an injury.

“Protecting the football is the most important thing anybody who gets to handle the football does,” Flood said. “I have confidence going forward that both of those guys will protect the football better than on Saturday. When you don’t, and you’ve got other options, those other options are going to get an opportunity as well.”

Senior fullback Michael Burton excelled on tape, Flood said, and paved the way for 212 rushing yards.

He always does,” Flood said. “Michael is a big part of our offense. There’s a lot of plays on the tape … That’s what all great fullbacks do, and he’s a big reason why we were able to have some success running the ball for over 200 yards, keeping Gary [Nova] clean for the most part.”

Snap Out of It -- True freshman Alan Lucy remains the starting long snapper after three poor special teams snaps against Indiana.

“It has been inconsistent, and Alan’s working very hard,” Flood said. “He’s a young guy, who when he does it well, does it as well as anybody in the country. We’re going to continue to work with him to try and find the consistency that we need. We do have other snappers on our team. If I feel like they give us a better chance to be 1-0 on Saturday, then they’ll be the one who starts the game. But right now, Alan Lucy is our starting snapper.”

Bowling -- The chance to go 1-0 next week is all Flood has on his mind, but becoming bowl eligible adds another goal for his program after losing both the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl and 2013 New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

“We’ve got an opportunity to be bowl champions,” Flood said. “I think any time you have an opportunity to win a championship, that’s significant. It’s something we’re really excited to have an opportunity to do.”


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