Scrimmage Notebook: Dodd, Robinson, etc.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers first scrimmage of training camp is in the books, and was there to see it. In the notebook coming out of the scrimmage, the play of freshman quarterback Chas Dodd is the opening subject, while thoughts on the day from running back Mason Robinson, defensive tackle Scott Vallone and quarterback Tom Savage are also included.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers freshman quarterback Chas Dodd received rave reviews from coach Greg Schiano during the first week of training camp, so a step back was inevitable.

Dodd, who played with the second unit, acknowledged that came during Saturday's scrimmage at Rutgers Stadium. It wasn't a poor display, just not what the 6-foot, 195-pounder wanted or expected for his first scrimmage in a Scarlet Knights uniform.

"I didn't do as well as I wanted to," Dodd said. "There was room for improvement on some things. I have to stay in my playbook and keep studying everything. I had some dropped snaps, maybe some reads (could have been better). I have to stay focused and know what I have to do."

Dodd 8 of 15 passes for 63 yards and showed his trademark strong arm and nice touch on several passes.

However, he also struggled with a few exchanges with David Osei while operating under center. "It was a little different because it was a live scrimmage," Dodd said. "There was a little bit more pressure. …I think it goes down to a lack of focus and I didn't do what I needed to.

"I'm going to have to keep working hard and come out and be ready for the next scrimmage."

Dodd showed his arm strength on a 13-yard completion to J.T. Tartacoff early in the scrimmage, and his soft touch was on display on several other passes.

And although Dodd expected better results, there is plenty for him to build off.

"I had some good balls and on some I had some good accuracy," Dodd said. "I read most of the plays good, but here and there, there were a couple of things I might have missed."

Mason's work
Running back Mason Robinson had the offense's lone touchdown on a 10-yard run during a red-zone drill, and he also had a 16-yard catch in his first appearance inside Rutgers Stadium since suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in the 2009 season opener.

"It feels good to get out there," Robinson said. "I was a little nervous going out there today. This is the first time back out there and going live and getting at it in a year. It was a little nerve-wracking."

The Scarlet Knights are looking to incorporate Robinson into the offense, but that is not the only place he is being a change to make an impact. Robinson is also returning punts, something he dabbled in during high school.

"I was all right," Robinson said. "I caught a few of them, but they usually didn't get to me."

Seeking perfection
Rutgers defensive tackle Scott Vallone can control the middle of the line of scrimmage, and he did so during the scrimmage. At one point he registered a safety when he tackled a running back in the end zone, but he wasn't ready to declare the day a success.

"I'll just wait until I see the film," he said. "Some of the stuff that would look good, it could be, ‘Oh, I took a bad step,' or my pad level was too high. I know where I have to improve and that will come from watching the film."

Freshmen speed
The class of 2010 was lauded for its speed, and quarterback Tom Savage got a chance see some it in the running game with Jordan Thomas and Casey Turner.

"The young guys are unbelievable," Savage said. "Those young guys are great runners. Joe (Martinek) is out, but Mason did a heckuva job, and those young guys got some wheels, so it's exciting."

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