By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – As No. 19/20 Rutgers begins to prepare for Syracuse, Kyle Federico’s (lower body) status remains a mystery. In turn, so does Rutgers kicking game.
Injured on his the kickoff after his last field goal of Rutgers 19-3 win over UConn, head coach Kyle Flood said Federico will not be able to kickoff this week — meaning Anthony DiPaula will likely handle those duties like he did earlier in the season — and is unsure if he will be able to kick extra points and field goals. The latter is what could be an issue for the Scarlet Knights.
“I’m not ready to really discuss where he’s [Federico] at. It’s going to take me a couple days here to really evaluate if we think he’ll be ready to go,” Flood said. “It’s still up in question right now. We have not set the depth chart behind him as of yet.”
Anthony DeLouisa attempted Rutgers final extra point against UConn and missed it. Flood said “all hands are on deck” when it comes to finding a back up, meaning several of the specialists on the roster were tried out as well as walk-ons on Sunday night and a walk-on will tryout today as well.
No matter who the field goal kicker is, Flood won’t have the same trust in them he’s had in Federico, a true freshman he’s groomed since spring practice. However, that doesn’t mean Rutgers will take their chances going for two point conversions after touchdowns.
“I don’t think it’ll force us to go for two. I think we’ll be able to go for extra points,” Flood said. “I think it has it’s biggest affect in that area of the field that you’re trying to decide if you’re going to try a 50-yarder or a 40-yarder. You have to really figure out what the top end of his range is and game plan for it.”
Note: Fullback Sam Bergen (undisclosed) is expected to be back at practice tomorrow.