Thursday Practice Report: Josh Hicks' Role at RB, Special Teams Depth

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The evolution of Josh Hicks on offense and special teams depth are keys before kickoff against Indiana. Coach Chris Ash explains where both stand.

The Headline – Indiana may have its own run-game surprises, but Rutgers debuted a unique look of its own at Minnesota with a special package for Josh Hicks.

Hicks returned from a brief stint at safety with a two-running back attack alongside Justin Goodwin. Hicks took five carries for 27 yards in the game, and could see a bigger role against Indiana.

“Josh has been great in everything that we've asked him to do,” said coach Chris Ash. “Josh is playing running back, and getting reps at running back. He continues to get better at all of the things that he's needed to get better at this season. Whether it's one tailback or two tailback personnel groupings, Josh is doing a good job and continues to get better out there at practice.”

The evolving Rutgers offense scored more points in its last game than the last four combined.

“We add wrinkles every week and that's just the way the offensive game plan goes. That's pretty much standard for everybody. Every week, there's been new wrinkles to our offense, whether it be plays or formations, personnel groupings, we've done something slightly different each week and last game we did the two tailback thing. We'll see if we continue to do that moving forward.”

Worth Noting – While injuries hurt Rutgers depth on defense, there may be more concerns on special teams, Ash said.

“When you have injuries on offense, you have injuries on defense, what gets affected with injuries on both sides of are special teams,” Ash said. “If you looked at, just for example our kickoff team, if you look at the starting lineup against Washington and you look at the starting lineup today, there might be two or three people that are the same.”

Quote of the Day – “The thing I like about [Giovanni Rescigno] is he's been consistent. He was consistent when he was a backup thrown into action at halftime of the Illinois game. When he went to be a starter against Minnesota that week of preparation, his focus didn't change. His attitude didn't change. He was poised. This week is no different. I see a guy out there that continues to just grow with his confidence because he feels a lot of people believe in him and belief is a powerful thing.” – Ash.

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