Rutgers Remains Behind QB Chris Laviano after Loss to Iowa

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The Rutgers coaches remain behind Chris Laviano as their starting quarterback after just seven points of offense and a Tylin Oden cameo in the loss Saturday to Iowa.

With just one score in four attempts in the red-zone, quarterback Chris Laviano is not pleased with his performance in the 14-7 loss to Iowa. One touchdown, 190 yards and 21 rushing yards excluding sacks were enough to keep the coaching staff confidently behind Laviano.

For the third straight game, Rutgers pulled Laviano for another quarterback. This time, freshman Tylin Oden played his second game for Rutgers but did not attempt a pass or take any third-down snaps.

“Chris is our starter,” said offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer. “We want to see, give Tylin a few more reps and get his feet wet and he had a good week of practice. I think he's got to continue to improve and get better. His skillset, it's there, but to go into a game and manage everything that had to go in, didn't know that he was ready. I didn't think it was fair to put all of that on his plate right now.”

The good news for Laviano was another turnover-free game and an accurate touchdown pass to Andre Patton.

“He made some good throws we needed,” Mehringer said. “He missed the one down the field to Jawuan. You take your shots and that's kind of the world you live in a little bit. You're going to hit him or you're not. He made good decisions with the football. … his game was markedly improved from last week.”

Laviano has 647 passing yards, five touchdowns and three turnovers through the first third of the season.

“I think we played well, not well enough to win though,” Laviano said. “… There's still areas to improve. … [I'll] just watch the film and figure it out later.”

Laviano and the Rutgers offense lost their most dynamic target in Janarion Grant, and must look elsewhere for production.

“He's a great player,” he said. “It sucked that he got hurt but guys stepped up. … He's definitely one of our best players. You can't replace him but there are guys that are behind him like Jawuan that are capable of making good plays.”


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