Laviano will be Rutgers starting quarterback for Saturday
Sep. 07, 2015
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Chris Laviano has been selected to be Rutgers starting quarterback for Saturday's game against Washington State.
Coach Kyle Flood announced the decision Monday, choosing Laviano over Hayden Rettig.
"The body of work," Flood said of what went into the decision. "This process went longer than I expected it to."
Flood initially planned on making a decision seven to 10 days into training camp.
However, Laviano and Rettig made the choice difficult in training camp for the fourth-year head coach. That dragged the battle through training camp and the first game of the season.
"What it did for us was provide a large body of work, two scrimmages, an actual game where we could watch them play in the stadium," Flood said. "All those things factored into it."
Rettig started the season opener against Norfolk State because Laviano was suspended over a curfew violation.
"I think everything gets weighed in," Flood said. "We had a curfew situation in training camp. We dealt with it. Chris didn't play in the first half because of it. And we've moved on. At that point we've dealt with it and we're moving forward."
Rettig went 9 of 11 for 110 yards for one touchdown. He ran for a 12-yard touchdown. Laviano took over at the start of the second half and hit all four of his passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns. All the touchdowns went to Leonte Carroo, who was also suspended for the first half for a curfew violation.
However, Rutgers' star receiver is comfortable playing with either quarterback.
"That just comes from focus and hard work and putting time in with your quarterbacks," Carroo said. "It doesn't matter who the quarterback is. My little sister could be the quarterback out there. I'm just going to go out there and make plays for my team."
In his first three years as coach, Flood has been steadfast on picking and sticking with a quarterback. After Saturday's game, Flood left the option open to play both quarterbacks this season. However, Flood wouldn't divulge whether or not both would play against Washington State.
"Chris is the starting quarterback right now," Flood said. "And I don't want any player in our program looking over their shoulder worried that they would be pulled out of a game because they made a mistake."
While upset that his stint as a starter only lasted a week, Flood is confident Rettig will be ready if and when he goes in the game.
"Any player who is a competitor is going to be disappointed. So that's not surprising to me. But Hayden is a great teammate and somebody that also understands that he's very close to being the starting quarterback and those things can happen real quick," Flood said.
"So he'll be ready. We're fortunate that we have got two guys on our team right now that played at a high level in a college football game. That's exciting for me and I know it's exciting for the staff and it's exciting for the players in that locker room."