Scrimmage Report: Defense Bites Back

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The second Rutgers scrimmage included a stronger showing by the defense in nearly two hours of work at High Point Solutions Stadium. Head coach Kyle Flood broke it down, including a strong red-zone showing for both quarterback competitors.

Rutgers struggled offensively outside of the red-zone but left Saturday with six total touchdowns. Coach Kyle Flood broke things down after practice, including another statement that both quarterbacks stood even in ongoing competition.

The Headline -- The Rutgers defense bounced back as expected in the second spring scrimmage, with multiple big plays in a situation-heavy afternoon. The defensive two-deep held the offense to three points outside red-zone periods, and scored twice by itself.

“I’m definitely happy with the way we played, but obviously it could have been better,” said junior Anthony Cioffi, who played both cornerback and safety. “We asserted ourselves, and it was good for me to be back out there because I wasn’t in for the first scrimmage.”

During two drives that started on the offense’s 1-yard line, the defense logged a fumble-touchdown and safety by Darnell Davis Jr. and Deonte Roberts respectively.

Running backs averaged 3.76 yards per carry on the day. The offense scored five touchdowns, all in red-zone possessions, – three in Hayden Rettig drives and two in Chris Laviano drives.

“We’ll look at it on film,” Flood said. “I thought at time, we moved the ball pretty well. Some of the situations, I thought we did OK. I thought the first group with the coming out was really good. They got the ball out well passed the 20 both times. … Probably a not real consistent day though for any of those guys.”

Worth Noting -- Junior Quanzell Lambert worked exclusively at nose tackle Saturday, and likely remains there with Sebastian Joseph out for spring. The 250-pounder said he is open to anything when it comes to defensive line contributions.

“It just gave me a great opportunity to go out and play with great energy,” Lambert said. “I helped the defense get better today, and my teammates helped me get better. We’re all doing our jobs.”

Quote of the Day -- “We just couldn’t block him today. Kemoko, I think,, had three sacks and then we took him out of the third down situations just because we couldn’t get a play off with him out there.” – Flood on defensive end Kemoko Turay.

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

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