With help from Chris Laviano, Rutgers' Andre Patton tops targets against Wisconsin
For the first time this season, Leonte Carroo was unseated as Rutgers' top target-eater. The culprit? A sophomore who played only one offensive snap the week before.
Sparked in part by his close relationship with backup quarterback Chris Laviano, Andre Patton saw a team-high seven targets Saturday against Wisconsin, though it resulted in only three catches for 18 yards.
Five of them came from Laviano, whom Patton considers a friend.
"Me and Chris have a good relationship off and on the field," Patton said. "That's really not a factor. It all depends on how the defense plays and who's open."
Patton appeared on only one play two weeks ago at No. 15 Nebraska after he was suspended for a half for an unspecified violation of team rules.
He returned for his most productive game a week later, when Laviano replaced starter Gary Nova midway through the third quarter. Laviano and Patton were part of the same recruiting class.
"Andre's a good receiver," Laviano said. "With a bunch of weapons we have, he just happened to be the guy I thought was open at the time. ... We're good friends. I'm familiar with his routes. Like I said, he was in the read so I threw him the ball."
Patton, a preseason co-starter, missed the first four games of the season with an upper-body injury he suffered falling on a touchdown pass in a preseason scrimmage.
He played primarily in run-based packages before earning some spot duty elsewhere.
"It was a little shocking, what happened at the beginning of the season," Patton said. "But as the year went on, I feel like when I came back I progressed, started getting into the offense. As of right now, I'm just doing what I can to help our offense win games."