Thursday Practice Report: Kickoffs & Quarterbacks

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers coach Chris Ash addressed the media for the final time before kickoff against New Mexico, where he discussed his displeasure with special teams execution through two games.

The Headline – Rutgers is not a good kickoff team through two games, and coach Chris Ash wants an immediate improvement. Rutgers practiced kickoffs every day of New Mexico week.

It may be the most an Ash team practiced kickoffs in his career, he said Wednesday night on his weekly radio show.

“No, we'll find out Saturday,” Ash said when asked about improvements. “We've invested on all special teams phases a lot of time, meeting time, walkthrough time, practice time. We've got to get it right.”

True freshman Jared Smolar holds down the role on kickoffs

I'm not happy with the kickoff team that starts with the kicker and it starts with executing your job and being violent. That's part of being successful on a kickoff team. We have not seen enough on our unit and we've practice kickoff every single day this week.”

Worth Noting – The Rutgers quarterback room is in a better place compared to spring practice, Ash said.

The group chemistry, I should say, of the quarterback room is drastically improved from where it was in the spring,” Ash said. “Those guys get along well. They always help each other. They study film together. They hang out together more. That was not happening last winter and in spring practice.

Coach [Drew] Mehringer is doing a great job of connecting to the group, not only that group but all groups.”

Quote of the Day – “I'm a wrestling fan. Coach [Scott] Goodale does a great job. Any time that we can partner up with a team that's having success and a coach that's had success like him, I'm all for it.” – Chris Ash on events with Rutgers wrestling.

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