Notes: WVU, Recruiting, Energy, Etc.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers had a walk-through Monday morning, and afterward coach Greg Schiano spoke to the media about several key issues. He talked about getting the team ready to play West Virginia, the Scarlet Knights' official visit schedule, the running of freshman Jordan Thomas and whether everyone gave a strong emotional effort against Louisville.

Rutgers has never won in Milan Puskar Stadium, has lost 15 straight to West Virginia and Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano is winless in nine games against the Mountaineers.

With no bowl game to play for and the season over after Saturday's noon kickoff at West Virginia, Schiano pointed to those facts as why Rutgers should be emotionally ready to play and give a strong performance.

"I don't ever have a feeling we're not engaged," Schiano said. "We know exactly what the challenge is going down to Morgantown, and we know the history there. I think guys are excited about the opportunity to do something that's not been done here at Rutgers.

"None of it matters, the good or the bad. I think it's a whole new day when you go in there."

Schiano said the losing streak doesn't sit with him any differently than losses to other teams.

"A source of irritation? No,' he said. "I hate to lose at anything, so the fact that I lost nine times in a row to a school, is it an irritation? No, each time, it doesn't matter who I lose to, I hate it. It's not more than the loss last week."

Milan Puskar Stadium is also a notoriously tough place to play, and Schiano was asked what made it so difficult.

"Well, they have good players," he said. "That's the first thing that makes it hard, and they always have. But their fans are passionate. That is a home field advantage, without a doubt.

Recruiting schedule

Schiano said Rutgers will host an official visit weekend Dec. 10-12, but would not host one Dec. 17-19 because of the academic schedule.

However, there is a chance Rutgers will host official visitors during the midweek. Although Schiano didn't talk about specifics of those visits, it looks like it would be next week and involve junior college kids.

"We may have some weekday visits, but that weekend is tough," Schiano said. "We have a great, great schedule for our student–athletes. They have final examines and then they get a good long break, and that break usually falls after a bowl game so they don't have to come back until that Tuesday after Martin Luther King Day every year.

"But, it's not a great recruiting schedule."

Lost bowl practices

One of the top benefits of a bowl game is increased practice time, and with such a young team Rutgers would have greatly benefited from a few extra weeks of practice.

Is there a way to simulate it to make up for the lost time?

"No way," Schiano said. "Nope. Valuable time."

Thomas' running style

Rutgers freshman Jordan Thomas ran for a career-high 120 yards on 16 carries against the Cardinals, and many of those yards came with runs between the tackles.

"I think he ran with more certainty, more comfort level than what he's been doing," Schiano said. "I thought he improved. I've seen it in scrimmages, I've seen it against ourselves. It's the first time I've seen it more than a few times, glimpses, in games. I think he did it a few times in Friday's game."

Showing up ready

After Friday's loss to Louisville, Rutgers senior defensive tackle Charlie Noonan acknowledged the team wasn't emotionally ready to play.

Schiano addressed it, and added he knows Noonan wasn't one of those players not ready.

"I know Charlie Noonan was emotionally ready, so I've got no problem with the way Charlie Noonan approaches the game," Schiano said. "I think Charlie Noonan may have frustration that other people weren't, but Charlie Noonan was ready to play.

"I think some guys were ready to play. …If you're not on edge, you take the path of least resistance. If you're on edge, you win the battle to get it. Where we didn't execute, you have to examine all reasons."

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