PISCATAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rutgers coach Kyle Flood is taking longer than expected to choose his starting quarterback.
Flood wanted to pick a starter no later than 10 days into training camp, but sophomores Hayden Rettig and Chris Laviano are make the decision a tough one.
The competition has stretched through the first two weeks and two scrimmages. The players were off Sunday before returning Monday, and Flood could have a starter in place for the final week of camp.
“I think we’re getting close,” the coach said after Saturday’s second scrimmage. “There’s a minimal amount of time left until I feel like we have to make a decision and start moving forward to the first game.”
Rutgers opens its season Sept. 5 against Norfolk State.
Laviano played in five games and completed 11 of 28 passes for 107 yards and an interception in mop-up duty for Gary Nova last year. Rettig ran the scout team while redshirting after transferring from LSU.
In the spring game, Laviano went 8-for-10 for 140 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions while Rettig went 4-for-7 for 37 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. Flood said Laviano’s performance through spring practice gave him a slight edge heading into training camp, but Rettig appears to have made up ground.
In the first scrimmage last Monday, Laviano was 9-for-15 for 129 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Rettig went 8-for-10 for 121 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
In Saturday night’s scrimmage, Rettig went 10-for-17 for 144 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions while Laviano went 10-for-15 for 123 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
“I’m very anxious to see it on film and sit with the offensive staff and watch it,” Flood said. “But I thought both guys were very sharp.”
Saturday’s two-hour scrimmage consisted of situational football, including the two-minute drill.
With the scenario of his team trailing 24-23, Rettig started on his own 19-yard line. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder went 3-for-3 – including a 45-yard completion to wide receiver Janarion Grant — and set up the go-ahead field goal.
“Those are the situations that when you’re effective you can win football games, and he certainly was effective tonight,” Flood said. “I didn’t think it was just that drill. Like I said, I think both quarterbacks were very sharp tonight.”
So what’s left between the scrimmage and making the decision?
“I think the first thing we got to do is look at the film. That’s the first thing that will happen,” Flood said. “And then we’ll look at it and see if we’re ready to make a decision or not and we’ll get to (Monday) and we’ll practice and see who can make the corrections, because there’s always corrections regardless of how well we think they played.”
NOTES: Eighteen players were held out due to injury, including star receiver Leonte Carroo. Running backs Desmon Peoples, Robert Martin and Josh Hicks sat out, leaving Paul James to carry the load. However, James left early with an injury. It did not appear serious for the team captain, who has seen his last two seasons cut short by injury after promising starts.
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)