Rutgers football head coach Chris Ash announced that redshirt junior Chris Laviano will be the starting quarterback for the Scarlet Knights in the 2016 season. He was also the starter for the team in 2015.
Rutgers Names Chris Laviano Starting Quarterback
“Chris has been the most consistent and the best decision maker of the group,” Ash said in a conference call on Monday, “he’s earned the trust of the staff and football players.” Laviano beat out Texas Christian University (TCU) transfer Zach Allen for the starting job, 247 Sports reports.
While Allen did compete against Laviano for the starting quarterback job, he’s still not the clear cut winner for the backup quarterback job, either.
“We have not named who our top backup will be,” Ash said, “that decision will take a few more days.”
Laviano first saw action in 2014 after then starting quarterback Gary Nova went down with injury against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He wound up playing in five games, throwing for 107 yards and an interception. The Scarlet Knights defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit, MI in Dec. 2014.
Last season, Laviano threw for 2,247 yards and 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Knights finished the season with a 4-8 record (1-7 Big Ten) and didn’t qualify for a bowl game. Key losses in 2015 for Rutgers were against Washington State in Week 2 and against Maryland in the season finale.
Against Washington State, the defense gave up a touchdown with six seconds left in the loss against the Cougars. Against Maryland, the team gave up a 21-point deficit against the Terps. The biggest game for Laviano and the Knights in 2015 came against Indiana. Laviano threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns as the Scarlet Knights overcame a 52-27 lead to win the game, 55-52. The comeback was the biggest in school history.
The team opens up their season on Sept. 3 against the Washington Huskies.