Rutgers is a beat up team going into Senior Day against Maryland, but the first practice of game week brought signs of encouragement for coach Kyle Flood
Flood opted for meetings instead of practice on Sunday, so when the team returned Tuesday morning to the field, it was with extra energy and a key piece back on defense.
“We had a good workout today,” Flood said. “We were in spider pads, so we didn’t do a lot of hitting. That’s kind of the way we’ve been practicing the last few weeks. It gave us an opportunity to really install the first- and second-down game plan. We’ll put the pads on for certain periods tomorrow. We’ll make that decision later today.
“It was good to have certain guys out there, a guy like Steve Longa practice today, so that was good.”
The Scarlet Knights prepare for Maryland and interim coach Mike Locklsey, who replaced Randy Edsall midseason. Rutgers set a school record against Edsall’s Maryland last year with its 25-point comeback in College Park, Md.
“The defensive structure is different, but I think that’s a change that they made at the beginning of the season.” Flood said. “I don’t think that’s different. I think coach Locksley’s done a good job of keeping that team motivated. They play with a lot of energy. They’re a spread offense and they challenge you the width and length of the field. I think Mike’s done a really good job keeping that team going.”
On a win at Army – “We’re coming off a win we’re really excited about off a really well coached Army team. It’s a great challenge to defend that option offense that they run, and really an honor to play a game at West Point and look in the eyes of the young men that are going to protect our country someday.”
On Senior Day – “It’s been a great group. This will go down in history as the group that won the first conference championship in the history of our program, the first Lambert Cup in the history of our program. We’ve been playing football for a long time here at Rutgers, so they’re going to have those two distinctions for sure. They’ve got a lot of pride, and they’re excited to play this week.”