Rutgers holds every position accountable for its game-day production, and starting quarterback Chris Laviano learned that the hard way Saturday when the coaching staff pulled him for a series.
Rutgers head coach Chris Ash and offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer pulled Laviano for performance reasons against New Mexico – the first time this season.
“Chris is right now in a competition to see if he's going to continue to be the starting quarterback here at Rutgers,” Ash said. “That's been the way since we've gotten here. He earned that opportunity to go out and start in the first three games. He's got to perform better. He knows that. We all know that, that's no secret, and he has to continue to get better at practice.”
Laviano sat to “calm down” for a series with Zach Allen as his replacement. The junior from Long Island remains Rutgers' starter, and discussed his sideline series Monday of Iowa week.
“Whatever best of the team needs to happen,” Laviano said. “We have to play better offensively. It is what it is. They (the coaches) have got a job to do. I've got a job to do.”
Laviano completed just 41 percent of his passes for 152 yards and one touchdown bomb against New Mexico. To Laviano's credit, it was his first turnover-free game since he beat Army last season.
“I guess just executing as a whole offensively,” Laviano said on where he needs to improve. “Executing every single play, better as an offense.”
Multiple quarterbacks remain in the mix for playing time against Iowa, however Laviano holds down the starting position.
“Chris is a guy that has been our quarterback and he's no different than another position,” Ash said. “Every single day we go out to practice, we will evaluate his performance. And I'll just tell everybody, if we felt like there was somebody that could go out and play the game better than Chris and give us a chance to win, guess what? We'd be playing him.
“Chris has earned the right to be our starting quarterback. Does that mean that he is exempt from being evaluated and potentially lose his job? No, it doesn't. But through the course of spring, summer training camp and what he does on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday of practice, he's earned that right.”