War Games: New Mexico at Rutgers

Scarlet Report looks at the best commentary and analysis from the Rutgers Scarlet Knights heading into kickoff against New Mexico.

Head coach Chris Ash – “( Dacoven Bailey) could do all (offense, defense and special teams). Really, it’s going to depend on the health of our football team. Right now, he’s got a cast on his hand. Can’t do a whole lot for us on offense. So if there’s a need where he can help us on defense, then we’ll look at him there also. But he continues to excel on special teams and he’s fast, he’s physical, knows how to get to the football and really excited about his future here, whether it be on offense or defense. But he’s doing an outstanding job for us on special teams.”

Defensive coordinator Jay Niemann – “I'm not sure how many of the guys that are in our lineup have actually played in those games [against the triple option], probably not very many of them to be honest with you have game experience against those kind of teams. The program has that experience but the 11 guys out there wearing the helmets on the defensive side of the ball, I'm not sure how many guys have had that experience.”

Offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer – “[Junior Zach Allen] is kind of I think along the same boat right now as Tylin [Oden] in terms of he's got to develop in the passing game a little bit, but a great kid and a great leader. So I think the future for (Allen) is still very bright. There's just a little bit more development that has to happen for him."

Running backs coach Zak Kuhr – “I'll say this, Janarion might have some of the best balance I've seen ever. He's a fun kid to watch. When he goes, he goes. It's fun to watch.”

Wide receivers coach Jafar Williams – “I don't know what the numbers are abut I can tell you we definitely need more production. I put a lot on our guys in our room and we put a lot on our shoulders. That's to be expected. I think they understand that and I continue to drive that message as well.”

Cornerbacks coach Aaron Henry – “The biggest thing for my guys on the outside being the cornerback position, they can't be lulled to sleep. Every play has got to be exciting. They have to think of every play coming at them whether it's the pass game or the run game. Obviously they're going to be asked to tackle like they're asked to tackle every week.”

Junior quarterback Chris Laviano – “I personally have to get better at a lot of things.”

Team captain Darius Hamilton, senior defensive tackle – “I did spend a year with [Lawrence Stevens] in high school and that kid was one of the toughest and most hard-working kids. He wasn't always a big guy. He gave it all he had. He can hit. I don't think a lot of people can see what he does, have seen that side of him but you guys will. He's a competitor. He loves to compete. He comes to work every day. He's a quiet guy. He just loves to play football. Obviously the success he had last week is going to keep building and building.”

Senior safety Anthony Cioffi– “The [former] coaching staff with coach [Kyle] Flood was with me for three years, four years and now all of a sudden they're gone. How am I going to react to these [new] coaches? I feel like everybody is on the same page. I really enjoy it.”

True freshman linebacker Tyreek Williams – “When you're fast you're fast, so when I'm pass rushing or when I'm sticking somebody or running down the field on kickoffs, speed is always a factor."

Junior running back Robert Martin – “I made sure, when we got back out to practice that I was going to go hard every play no matter what. If I was pass blocking, if I was running the ball, inside run – anything. I was just trying to provide a spark for the team and just push my brothers and fellow RBs so we could all get better together.”

Redshirt freshman receiver Jay Harris – “I had a long process adjusting (from baseball to football). So I felt, as far as in the weight room, they were able to get my body right. And then, also, working out … during baseball season, I come and sit on meetings and learn the plays. So that kind of gave me a little boost and we came in the summer, started doing our player 7-on-7s. So I felt like I was right there with them.”

Sophomore cornerback Isaiah Wharton – “Crack, crack, they'll try to act like they're blocking and then all of a sudden they're going out for a pass. You can't let that happen. You have to stay on them, body on body, the whole time.”

Sophomore middle linebacker Deonte Roberts – “I've been getting more of a feel to the game. I feel like I'm getting really comfortable and adjusting to it. Each and every game I just try to adjust my game, up my game and get better.”

True freshman safety K.J. Gray – “I'm just trying to get everything down pat. Playing as a true freshman is a big responsibility, and I'm just trying to … earn the trust of the team.”

Linebacker Greg Jones -- "When you play a team like Washington, you know you have to come out hot or they’re going to get over the top and just not let you come back. They’re going to put the choke hold on, they’re not going to let you get out of it. Howard, they were a really good team. They started off hotter than we expected them to, obviously, and they were putting it on early. And with the way that we’ve been coached lately and how we’ve been trained throughout this whole summer and everything, we just don’t give up. And that’s what everyone’s going to see — we’re not going to give up on any play or any game. So when (Howard) jumped out early, we were able to just fight back, and that’s really what we did.”

Sophomore linebacker Najee Clayton -- "Throughout a tough few weeks of training camp, a lot of things happened. I mean, a long story short, I wouldn’t even say it’s inconsistency. Just … things happen. I know my boy Greg — he’s going to do his thing and I’m right there to support him.”

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