Whatever it takes, Chris Laviano wants to be a team player in the Rutgers offense. As a blocker, Laviano put his body on the line for a touchdown run by Janarion Grant.
“I knew I had to just get in the way, I took a charge,” Laviano said on his wildcat block that set Grant free for 58 yards. “... It was a touchdown. I don't care. It is what it is. It was a block.”
More interestingly, as a leader, Laviano gave all of the support possible when two quarterbacks replaced him to finish out the game.
Giovanni Rescigno first enterred, but his day ended quickly after a 42-yard touchdown run on the first touch.
True freshman Tylin Oden's debut lasted longer but also went without a pass attempt. Oden ran designed run after designed run for 55 yards on nine attempts to close out the game.
“I think it was for the young kid, it was just, today, to see if we could get his feet wet a little bit and how he would respond in a bigger atmosphere,” said offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer. “Obviously, this is not a little town south of Nashville, Tennessee, anymore. Honestly, I thought the other guys in the unit did such a great job, I think, getting him ready to go. I talked to each one of them individually and said, 'Make sure the young kid's ready to go in and play, protect the football and make sure he's excited and have some fun and not nervous,' and he went in there and did a nice job. But yeah, we just wanted to see if how he would respond to a bigger environment and I though he did pretty well."
Oden was not available after the victory, but received praise from teammates.
“I'm extremely happy for them,” Laviano said. “
Laviano finished his day with three touchdowns and 137 yards on a 50 percent passing clip. His first pass attempt was an interception after a route-running issue with Carlton Agudosi and a poor throwing decision.
“That was a read on the [middle linebacker],” Laviano said. “I threw to Carlton. It was both of our faults. The major thing was you need to bounce back after something like that.”null