After losses to Illinois and Michigan, Ash put the result on his own shoulders. Ash told the press that the fault falls upon the coaches.
Ash told the players the same thing in team meetings. Many players, however, put the 2-5 start on themselves.
“We meet with him in meetings and he's apologizing to us saying, 'guys I'm sorry. It's my fault. I should have had you prepared.' It's not his fault,” Nash said. “As players, we know that. He puts us in the best position each week to win, defensively, offensively, special teams. At the end of the day, you have to go out and perform. If you don't go out and perform and do your job, you're going to lose. It's no one's fault but the players.
“I don't understand why anyone would get frustrated with him. He's done just about everything he could do to give us a first-class experience and have a first-class program here and for whatever reason, we're not taking care of business on the field right now. It needs to change.”
Nash is like every other college student. He is completely aware of social media and is not deaf when he hears boos during games.
As vocal as the Rutgers fan base is on Saturdays, Nash acts the same on Sundays as a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan. When Nash sees similar reactions toward Rutgers, he gets it.
“Our fans, you can't really blame them,” Nash said. “They feel as though it's a game we should have won. We feel as though it's a game we should have won. They're going to react in a certain way because they want the best for the team. They want to see us succeed. We want the best for our team. We feed off them. Our fans are hungry. They want to see wins. They deserve to. I can't really blame them. It's the same way as me with the Eagles. I'm a big Eagles fan. When we lose, it's the same way I feel when my Eagles lose. I look at it from that perspective.”
Nash expressed support via social media after Saturday's loss. He clarified his comments Monday in a 1-on-1 conversation with Scarlet Report.
“I don't think it's really a coach thing,” Nash said. “Our coaches, they've done everything they need to do – preparing us, getting our bodies right, making sure we're eating right, making sure we're training the right way. It's not on our coaches. You can't say anything about our coaches. At the end of the day, it's the product you're putting out there. It's the players. That falls back on us.”
Nash played three seasons for Kyle Flood as a linebacker, tight end and defensive end. He openly considered transfer opportunities during the offseason before Ash's changes within the program sold him on Rutgers' new direction.
“When I hear him say it's his fault, I feel bad because I know it's not,” Nash said. “Look at all of the stuff he's doing. Our program, we've surpassed so many obstacles. The way we're training, the way we're developing, the way we're eating, the way we're taking care of our bodies, the little things. So many little things have changed that he's done to give us the best experience possible.
“We're not paying him back right now, basically. He can say it's his fault all he wants, but at the end of the day, it's on the players. If we don't go out there and perform, if we don't take care of business, we're not preparing and putting as much seriousness and effort in as he is, then we're not doing our part. It's just that simple.”null