Rutgers showed some gradual improvement in Chris Ash’s second season at the helm, improving from two to four wins in 2017. Though the Scarlet Knights are still a long way from developing a competitive squad in the B1G East, they have shown some signs of progress.

Recently, athletic director Pat Hobbs spoke with Keith Sargeant of NJ.com to discuss expectations for Ash and the program headed into the 2018 season. While he didn’t exactly set a specific goal for the third year of the Ash era, Hobbs does expect to see some improvement this fall.

“Getting better. Every year you’re trying to get better. I never have an expectation in terms of wins and losses. Football takes time. Football takes depth. We’ve really only had two recruiting classes under Coach Ash. I’m a big believer that you need to get four recruiting classes to come in.”

Hobbs statement reinforces a tweet he sent out earlier this offseason, bashing CBS Sports for placing Ash on the “hot seat.”

Along with support for his head coach, Hobbs also acknowledged that Rutgers is in the B1G East, one of the best and most competitive divisions in college football.

“So my expectations is we’re going to get better and we are getting better,” Hobbs said. “We’re bigger, faster, stronger. But we’re in the B1G East. It’s the most competitive division in any conference in the country.

“I have high hopes, but I know we’re building to the future and I know in a couple of years we’re really going to shock some people with the brand of football that we’re bringing. And we may shock some people this year as well.”

Rutgers is 6-18 under Ash in two seasons, but the program did show some serious progress last fall. The Scarlet Knights went 3-6 in B1G play last year after finishing 0-9 in 2016. They were also very competitive in losses to Washington, Nebraska, and Eastern Michigan.

The Scarlet Knights open the 2018 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 1 when they host Texas State.