"A common question that has come up over the last couple of days is how did you spend your off time… If you've got an experienced veteran football team and you've got a lot of returning starters within your program and there's not a lot of fundamental things that you need to fix, then it's probably to your advantage to get off to a fast start and play two, three or four weeks in a row, and then maybe get an open date for some injuries that come up in the first month of the season.
"For a young team like us, I think it was fortunate for us to have an open date for a multitude of reasons. We were trying to be as positive as possible in how we utilized this extra time. A certain element of it was fixing the mistakes from the first ball game. Things the kids were getting confused on and things they didn't understand. The next part of it is just working on your own football team, trying to get better now that they've played a game. They understand game speed and they understand some of the schemes [and] how people try to attack you. And a certain element towards the end of the week was devoted to Rutgers.
"Again, I think it comes at a good time from the standpoint that Rutgers is totally different offensively, special teams-wise and defensively. Not only do they pose a bigger challenge, but they're dramatically different schematically. They are a big pressure defense. They are very fast. They are very athletic. They've got some outstanding defensive linemen that really, truly create havoc. They remind me an awful lot of Kentwan Balmer and Hilee Taylor. Their linebackers are big, and their safeties are extremely fast and athletic and they do a good job covering."
On Rutgers' offensive line:
"They've got a massive offensive line. Anthony Davis was one of the most highly-recruited offensive linemen in the country a couple of years ago, and he gives them just a huge massive point of attack blocker. They're all in excess of 310 or 315 – big, tall kids. And I think that Ray Rice was a big part of the identity that [Rutgers] established, and I know that they would like to continue that because of the offensive line… I'm sure that they looked back at the game against Fresno State last week and they bemoan the opportunities that they had in the first half. The announcers of the game at halftime said that Rutgers had the ball 26 snaps inside the 50 and came away with no points."
On Shaun Draughn and the ground game:
"I was pleased with Shaun's performance in his first game. He handled coming in, he did a nice job of protecting the football and he did a nice job mentally on his protections. As I've said several times, I think it's going to take more than one guy, and maybe even take more than two guys, for us to have what we would really truly like to have as a running attack. Guys that can catch the ball, guys that are dependable and that can blitz protect, and this week, it's going to be extraordinarily important.
"I think that's one of the areas where Shaun has made the biggest improvement since August, because he basically didn't know any of the protections. You could hand the ball to him and with God-given athletic ability, he could run the ball and make people miss, but running routes out of the backfield and blitz protection… They're probably going to bring some form or fashion of pressure at least 35-40 percent of the game. So its going to be very important for him to be glued in."
Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano's Monday teleconference quotes
On the importance of the victory over UNC in 2006:
"I think it was big in that the year before we had gone to another BCS conference [school] for an out-of-conference game and were leading, and then we let the lead slip away and lost on the road. As you remember, in that 2006 game, we had the lead and Carolina was driving to win it and we were able to make a play. I thought that was a step forward for our program to be able to do it on the road [and] to be able to maintain a lead and win the game."
On coaching against Butch Davis:
"I love playing and coaching in games, so I'm looking forward to the game. Butch is a good friend, and I know he'll have his team ready, so that will be exciting."
Does that friendship add anything extra?
"Not for me, really. I'm happy for Butch that he's at a place that he really likes, but for three-and-a-half hours, we've got to go coach our teams and go against each other, so that's what it is."
On how often he talks to Davis:
"We stayed in touch. As I feel with all of my friends, I don't do a good enough job of doing that. I'm sure Butch feels the same, because we're all so busy. But Butch has really been special to me and my family. He and Tammy and Drew are just great people. I learned a lot in a short time that I worked with Butch for two years in Miami. I learned a ton. And it was at a point in my career where I was ready to learn that stuff.
"I've said it to our media that Butch really helped me prepare to be a head coach, because there are certain things that you just don't deal with as an assistant – whether it's fundraising or drug testing or recruiting to the point that you have to look at the big picture and not just your recruiting area. And Butch allowed me to take part in that stuff. I think it really gave me some valuable experience when I did get a head job."
On changing the culture at Rutgers:
"That's a big project, and that's certainly what we had to do here. In our own state, we weren't very well respected. It wasn't in vogue by any means to go to Rutgers and be a Rutgers football player, so you don't do that overnight. I think you build relationships and then make people comfortable with you, and through those relationships you continue to recruit better players.
"Meanwhile, while you're doing all of that, you have to make sure you [promote] your image to young people and to recruits, so it's a complex thing. Certainly, if you don't win some games, it won't finish off. But you lay all of the seeds early on and fortunately, some of those seeds came to harvest and we were able to win some games and that allowed us to continue to grow."