The last two meetings on the football field between Rutgers and Syracuse were defensive battles. Both games were won by just a field goal. Prior to this week, as a Rutgers fan you would feel somewhat confident if that was to be the case once again. However, after an injury to freshman kicker Kyle Federico during last Saturday’s win over Connecticut, Rutgers has questions in that department and continues to look for answers.
In 2010, Syracuse defeated Rutgers in Piscataway by a score of 13-10. Last season, Rutgers won a 19-16 double-overtime contest at the Carrier Dome.
Federico missed his second straight day of practice today after suffering a hip injury. The expectation is that Federico will be available on Saturday against Syracuse, but on a limited basis. Head coach Kyle Flood expects Federico to be able to handle extra points and short to mid-range field goals.
Redshirt sophomore Nick DeLouisa, who played at nearby Immaculata High School in Somerville, NJ, is listed as the backup on the depth chart behind Federico. However, DeLouisa missed an extra point in the Scarlet Knights win over UConn last week in place of Federico. DeLouisa may indeed be the player to get the call come Saturday, but Flood and the coaching staff have used this week to develop a competition amongst the kickers.
Redshirt freshman Nick Borgese has been given more practice time as well. After a two-day workout, Flood invited Joe Behnke to walk-on and continue to compete for the chance to play Saturday.
As of today, it seems as though the competition continues to be wide open. Rutgers is hoping to have a better idea of what Federico will be able to do later this week. However, any final decision likely will be held off until Friday.
Federico is 6-of-11 on the season for field goal attempts. His longest was a 52-yarder. Kicking is so important and so vastly underrated. In close games, one kick can make a huge impact. This is one decision that could play a huge role in keeping Rutgers’ undefeated season alive.