Coach Chris Ash spoke to the media following today’s heart wrenching 33-27 loss to Indiana. The Scarlet Knights were previously 2-0 against the Hoosiers, but this year everything is different.
While we lost, the team did not look bad by any means, even some improvements. In that sense the Coach is pleased. Today’s main struggle was man-to-man coverage especially in the secondary. Rutgers’ corners struggled to keep up with Indiana’s receivers and committed penalties and allowed great catches.
Coach Ash also said that third downs are a huge issue with this team as they went a mere 1/16 on third down conversions today.
Despite all the losses, Coach says we are not far off at all from getting a conference win and even win a string of games. Coach is certainly confident in his team’s ability. They have improved each week after Michigan.
Coach Ash was also pleased with Giovanni Rescigno’s performance. He knows he was getting hurried and pressured and Coach thought Gio performed just fine.
Robert Martin was seen on special teams only today. Coach said he was hoping he would be healthier, but he has been in a green jersey for a few weeks and he was not able to do everything he needed to going into this game form a running back aspect. As a result, they started to work him back slowly on special teams until he gets his reps back at running back.
Coach Ash was frustrated about the fumble the Knights did not recover at the end of the game because that would have taken a touchdown off of the board. It would have helped Rutgers’ chances significantly.
Special teams on the offensive side struggled today. The defensive special teams blocked two kicks. Offensively, there was a punt blocked and a missed field goal. Not to mention Michael Cintron just is not a good punter.
As always, Coach is looking to the future and taking the positives and the negatives from each game and using that to show the team how to improve on everything. Progress has started to be seen at times. There is still a long way to go but competing is better than 78-0. Sure these teams aren’t Michigan or Ohio State but we are competing nonetheless.
Rutgers has lost the past two games by only nine points combined. Minnesota is 6-2 and Indiana is now 5-4. They are good teams. Competing with these good teams and beating the teams we should have beaten means Rutgers is getting there.
Stay patient, it takes time. We still have Penn State coming to town in a few weeks. We beat them at home and the field will be rushed. There is still hope. Keep Chopping.