Kyle Flood returns to the sidelines this Saturday against the 4-2 Indiana Hoosiers, as Rutgers looks to even up its record at 3-3, and build some momentum before next Saturday's clash with No. 1 Ohio State. Here's everything you need to know as the Scarlet Knights prepare for battle in Bloomington.
The weekly injury report was released yesterday, which I wrote about in full right here.
No major surprises, as the nine players ruled out against Indiana were ruled out in last week's injury report too. There are a few players who fans will need to keep an eye on throughout the week, but Rutgers is mostly healthy heading into this one.
Here are the most notable names from this week's injury report:
* WR John Tsimis (lower body)
* RB Desmon Peoples (upper body)
* DT Darius Hamilton (lower body, out for season)
* FS Anthony Cioffi (upper body)
* SS Kiy Hester (lower body)
* CB Jarius Adams (upper body)
* SS Davon Jacobs (upper body)
Flood's suspension is over, and he returned to the podium on Monday for his first weekly press conference since Penn State week. Here are the highlights.
* Flood opens by thanking Rutgers president Robert Barchi "for this opportunity to not only return to the podium but return to game day this Saturday."
* Flood also commends interim head coach Norries Wilson for the job he did in Flood's absence. He mentions how proud he is to have Wilson on the staff, and how strongly he feels about Wilson as a coach, a leader of men, and a person.
* Flood apologizes to the entire Rutgers community, students, alumni and faculty for causing the situation leading to his suspension. He mentions his goal is to be more than just a football coach, but a bigger part of the Rutgers community, and he is fully committed to that goal once again.
* A reporter asks Flood to explain why he said he didn't know the rule, when some of his actions mentioned in the report were done to conceal what he was doing. Flood says he is responsible to know the rule in question, and he asks the reporter to be a little more specific.
* The reporter mentions Flood's use of a private e-mail account and deliberately not wearing Rutgers clothing during his meeting with the professor. Flood explains the use of his private-email account by saying he was looking to protect the student-athlete, whose academic status had been on public display when it shouldn't have been. As for the clothing, he calls it a "very small-talkish type comment", saying it may have been taken out of context.
* When asked how, after being at Rutgers for 11 years, he didn't know the rule, Flood would not go into detail, but said it is his responsibility to know it.
* Flood says he has had plenty of interactions with faculty before, but never before had any of those interactions been of this nature, and they never will be again.
* A reporter mentions that Barchi mentioned termination was considered, but Flood says he feels he has a good relationship with and support from Barchi.
* Flood says he doesn't feel like any of his credibility has been lost. He says he made a mistake, and mistakes have consequences. His consequences have been fulfilled, and he's ready to move forward.
* Flood admits that he can't control how people perceive him after all of this, but he is confident that the people who know him well won't hold this against him.
* When a reporter asks if the program is cooperating with the investigation into the program by a Kansas City law firm, Flood says they are cooperating fully.
* Flood says he doesn't think this situation undermines his focus on his student-athletes' academic success. He touts the high APR rankings and all-time high in team GPA the program has experienced since he took over in 2012.
* A reporter brings up Lloyd Terry allegedly failing multiple drug tests and becoming "addicted to weed." The reporter asks how strictly the program enforces the Rutgers athletics drug policy. Flood says the program enforces the drug policy and that they "do everything we can to help our student-athletes with what is a very, very serious issue today with young people."
* When asked if suspensions were the reason Terry played in just one game last year, Flood would not comment on the personal and medical issues of a particular player.
* Flood would not comment on the conditions surrounding Leonte Carroo's reinstatement to the team.
* A reporter asks if he thinks the program has a drug problem. Flood says he takes drug problems very seriously, and that drugs are a big issue on every college campus in the nation. He does not think his program has a bigger problem than any other program.
* When asked about Carroo's prior relationship with a recruiting ambassador, Flood says he can't control personal relationships between students and other students when he's not with them, so it's not something he gets involved with. He thinks Rutgers has a good recruiting ambassador program.
* Flood says having to watch the games on television instead of being on the sideline was "probably the most helpless I've ever felt in 22 years of coaching."
* Flood is asked about the policy of dismissed players being around the team. Flood says dismissed players are not permitted in the Hale Center, and if they are still permitted on campus, their academic support is set up elsewhere. Flood says he can't control whether or not current players fraternize with dismissed players, but he reminds his players to make good decisions, help each other make good decisions, and it helps to be around the right people.
* Flood once again praises Norries Wilson and the job he did while Flood was suspended.
* When asked if there are any parts of the report he'd like to refute or speak about, he says there's nothing that would do to help the program move forward. He concludes by saying he is excited to be back, and the team is excited to move forward.
* Not one question was asked about Saturday's game against Indiana.
* Saturday's matchup will be just the second time Rutgers and Indiana have met. Last year, Rutgers beat the Hoosiers 45-23 at home on Senior Day.
* This is just the third time in program history the Scarlet Knights have traveled to the state of Indiana. They have played at Notre Dame twice.
* Indiana's 4-2 record is a bit deceiving. Despite coming close to upsetting Ohio State at home, the Hoosiers are 0-2 in the Big Ten after falling to Penn State last week.
* The Hoosiers' out-of-conference schedule was pretty weak, and while they won each game, they included a one-point win over Southern Illinois, a three-point win over Western Kentucky, and a seven-point win over Wake Forest.
* Indiana's top two quarterbacks are dealing with injuries, as starter Nate Sudfeld (ankle) and backup Zander Diamont (shoulder) are both uncertain for Saturday's game. If neither can play, third-stringer redshirt freshman Danny Cameron would start.
How are you feeling about Saturday's matchup? Are you excited to have Flood back? Is this a "must-win" game for the program given the gauntlet that follows it? Sound off in the comments below.