Rutgers at Michigan State may not be a hot ticket for fans in the battle of teams in search of their first-conference win. That will not be the case in Warren, Mich. – the hometown of Rutgers starting quarterback Giovanni Rescigno.
Warren sits 87 miles east of Michigan State, and the area is full of eager Rescigno fans.
“I'll get a pretty good amount of tickets this week,” said Rescigno, who expects more than 20 friends and family in the stands. “... I just talked to my dad about it today about who we're going to invite and I'll get the tickets from other players.”
Rescigno traveled to his home state for games against Michigan State, Michigan and North Carolina (Quick Lane Bowl). He has not played in the state since his senior year at Warren (Mich.) De La Salle.
“It's exciting to play in front of his family,” said offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer. “His family comes up to a bunch of our games. But I think he'll be in front of some people that haven't seen him play in person for a while, and I think that's exciting for him. He can do things. He does a good job of managing his emotions.
“... I do think that his emotions are going to be a tad bit high because of that, but I think he'll do a good job of doing exactly what we ask him to do and remain at the task at hand."
Not a native of the state, Rescigno did not grow up as a serious fan of either Michigan or Michigan State. He dealt with both schools during recruiting before a late scholarship offer from Rutgers landed him in the Big Ten.
“These games, Michigan and Michigan State, are really something that excites me,” he said. “Being able to go back home and play a game is really exciting.”
On the field, Rescigno is Rutgers' most efficient passer with a 121.45 rating in three games and two starts.
Two weeks off of a hamstring injury against Minnesota, Rescigno has five touchdowns, 598 passing yards and five turnovers.
“I think I played pretty well,” Rescigno said. “There's things that we have to clean up. We talked about, the other day, 1-of-16 on third downs isn't going to get it done. We have to do better on first and second down not to get third-and-long situations where our percentage of getting that third down went down a lot.”