Wednesday Practice Report: Stopping the Run, Rutgers Gets Healthy in Secondary

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- How much did a bye week pay off for players on defense? Is Kiy Hester close to a return at safety. Scarlet Report breaks down the latest after today's practice, including the defense's preparations for a unique Indiana offense.

The Headline – While most teams and position groups battle injury problems, the Rutgers safeties are as close to full strength as they have been all season.

Kiy Hester returned to practice off the bye, which also allowed an extra week of rest for starter Saquan Hampton and Michigan transfer Ross Douglas.

“Everyone is almost back to full-speed healthy,” said safety coach Bill Busch. “Kiy Hester has been able to come out and practice this week. We'll see what his status is for game time. … Right now he is doing very good. He's doing a very good job. The good thing about Kiy is he has a very high football IQ, so there was not a lot of regression as far as missing some time.”

The anticipated return of Hester brings Rutgers is best safety depth of the year, and creates a chance to rest Anthony Cioffi after playing every snap over the last month.

“It's exciting because we worked hard all offseason and became a tight group,” Hampton said. “It's good to have us all back out there playing at the same time. We always compete. That's what this program is based off. We all go out there and play hard.”

Worth Noting – The defensive line is also a bye week healthier, and position coach Shane Burnham needs to see a better performance against the newly-debuted unique offensive sets for Indiana.

I'm glad they did it last week and not this week,” Burnham said on the debut of new formations. “At least you've got a week to look at it. Certainly it was effective.”

Quote of the Day – “Knowing where you've got to be and being there is two different things. There will be a wrinkle. They'll add something from what they've put on tape and they'll give us something different. With the success they had, I think we'll see a lot of it. Every Saturday is different.” – Burnham on Indiana's unique offensive sets.

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