Noah Vedral remains Rutgers QB for Michigan game

TOM CANAVAN
·2 min read
Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral passes during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Piscataway, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Illinois Rutgers Football

Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral passes during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Piscataway, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Graduate transfer Noah Vedral is keeping his job as Rutgers' starting quarterback despite throwing three second-half interceptions in a loss to Illinois last weekend.

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said Monday he is sticking with Vedral for Saturday night's home game against struggling Michigan (1-3).

Rutgers (1-3) squandered a 10-point second-half lead against then-winless Illinois, and Vedral's final interception set up a game-winning field goal for the Illini.

Schiano spoke with his staff in deciding not to make a change. His options would have been to start either Johnny Langan or Art Sitkowski. Langan, who is more mobile, had replaced Sitkowski after he opted to redshirt last season.

Schiano said the key for Vedral will be managing risk — two of his interceptions came on passes forced into tight spots.

“That’s the challenge, I think, is getting Noah to better see that and understand that, anticipate that,” Schiano said. “On the same token, he made several plays that were really big time plays. So, again, we’re managing the opportunity. He has to do just a little better job managing the risk. ”

Vedral has completed 82 of 130 passes for 723 yards and five touchdowns, including two to Bo Melton on Saturday. His yardage total is tied for 10th in the Big Ten and his seven interceptions are tied for a league high.

Rutgers is having one of its better offensive seasons in the conference, averaging 26.5 points.

Langan has been used mostly in goal-line situations and short yardage for the Scarlet Knights, who have lost three in a row after surprising Michigan State in their opener.

Sitkowski played in the Ohio State game, connecting on 9 of 13 passes for 62 yards in relief.

Schiano seemed more concerned about how his team would rebound after its first tough loss.

“Now, how are we going to progress?" he said. “Are we going to come out and fight our you-know-what’s off or are we going to let Illinois beat us twice? Because you know what? I’ve had teams that I’ve been a coach that have let one team beat us twice. We can’t let that happen. We won’t let that happen. ”

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