Thursday Practice Report: Quarterbacks, Student Section and Touchdown Protocol

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers coach Chris Ash gave his practice breakdown of the quarterbacks and receivers after the passing game struggled last week against New Mexico. Ash also discusses the student reactions to "The Alley" and more.

The Headline – Rutgers coach Chris Ash saw similar production and execution this week out of his quarterbacks in practice. Junior Chris Laviano remains in his spot as the Scarlet Knights' starting quarterback in the Big Ten opener.

Laviano nearly led the Rutgers offense to an upset over Michigan State in last year's Big Ten opener at home but finished 1-7 as the starter in conference play.

“They've looked like they have most weeks of game planning,” Ash said. “They've had good weeks of practice. They've thrown the ball well. They know the game plan. They know the checks and adjustments that the offense needs. It's more about just being able to get it to transfer over to a productive game day.”

A primary backup to Laviano remains “to be determined” after Thursday morning's practice. Junior Zach Allen backed up him against New Mexico, and received the majority of second-team work early in the week.

At wide receiver, the explosiveness of Janarion Grant in the spotlight opens up new opportunities for other targets like Jawuan Harris and Andre Patton.

“They all want a piece of the pie,” Ash said. “We've got a lot of playmakers in the wide-receiver group. It's not just Janarion. Janarion's obviously gotten off to a fast start but I think we've got some other guys that are starting to pick up their game and want to get involved in the action and be a part of explosive plays. They've just got to continue to focus on doing the little things every single day and they'll get an opportunity to get more balls their way on game day.”

Worth Noting – With an impressive recruiting turnout expected Saturday, Ash is not concerned with a broken student section after “The Alley's” deletion as a special tailgating area for the student body.

When recruits come to your stadium, they want to feel like it's going to be a great environment every time they go out there,” Ash said. “That's a big part of recruiting. Recruits are standing on the sidelines, they look up and see enthusiastic student section, their first impression is 'wow this is big-time football.' That's what we want here. That's what we need here and that's what we'll build here.”

Quote of the Day – “When you score a touchdown, what do you do with the football? Hand it to an official. If you're not handing the ball to the official, then you're wrong.” – Ash on touchdown protocol.


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