Big Ten notes: Gerad Parker takes over as head coach at Purdue

The last two days have been a whirlwind for Gerad Parker.

The former wide receivers coach was thrust into Purdue’s interim head coach role on Sunday. The decision came after the university fired fourth-year coach Darell Hazell.

“It has been a difficult situatiion for our staff and for our players, and obviously a weird situation for me,” Parker said Wednesday on the weekly Big Ten telecconference. “All we can do now is embrace it and turn what you just said into a positive.”

Hazell was fired after a 49-35 loss to Iowa on Saturday. He had logged a 9-33 record during his tenure with the Boilermakers (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten).

Parker could not speak specifically to why the decision came this weekend.

“I know from our administration and some people,” Parker said, "they didn’t see some things they wanted to see from our staff.”

Purdue travels to Nebraska on Saturday before hosting Penn State on Oct. 29.

 At Rutgers, more disappointment

Rutgers first-year head coach Chris Ash has begun to sound like a broken record. Each week, on the Big Ten call, he expresses the same sentiment: disapointment.

This week, Ash was disappointed in the Scarlet Knights’ 24-7 loss to Indiana, a game that brought Rutgers’ record to 2-5 (0-4 in the Big Ten).

Ash said his team has to work on reducing turnovers - they had five on Saturday.

As the Scarlet Knights prepare for Minnesota, they will do so with a new starting quarterback. Redshirt sophomore Gio Rescigno is set to replace Chris Laviano, who has made 18 straight starts, Ash announced Monday.

Ash said he is pleased with the consistency he has seen from Rescigno in practice. When he replaced Laviano against Illinois, Rescigno went 10-for-18 for 120 yards and one touchdown.

“I thought he went out and led the offense, executed the calls, made good decisions,” Ash said. Rescigno “threw the ball well at times.”