Notes: FIU Distractions, Young, Savage, etc.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers held its last practice Thursday before making the trip to Miami to face Florida International on Saturday (8 p.m.). After the practice, coach Greg Schiano addressed a number of things, including the potential for distractions in south Florida, Kordell Young's health, the meshing of the offensive line, Tom Savage's demeanor and recruiting.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – One of the benefits of Rutgers playing at Florida International is the opportunity it provides for its south Florida players to return home and play in front of family and friends.

And that can also be a detriment, if it is not handled in the right way.

Distractions because of time demands from family and friends can be an issue, but Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano spoke to his team about managing their time in the correct manner so it does not turn into a problem.

"Our guys understand how hard it is to do this thing," Schiano said after Thursday's practice. "It won't be an issue."

The Scarlet Knights will depart for Miami midday Friday. With kickoff slated for 8 p.m., it will give the players plenty of time to attend their meetings, focus on the game and also spend time with family.

"I talked about it. There will be time to go visit with your family," Schiano said. "I don't think you can go down there and (have tunnel vision) for 48 hours, or 24 hours, or whatever it is, but when it's time to lock in, they get (focused)."

The game came about when Rutgers had a few voids on the schedule when Navy and Buffalo pulled out of games.

"This was a situation where, if you remember, we got dropped by two teams, and couldn't get a game," Schiano said. "This game came available. We both needed a game, and that's why we did it."

Young Should Be Ready
Schiano said fifth-year running back Kordell Young, who is dealing with knee soreness after returning from an excused absence, has looked good in practice and will make the trip to Florida International.

"He was a little sore. Obviously, you come back, you feel like a million bucks, but after you do it, you're a little sore," Schiano said. "We just got off the field, so we're talking about 56 hours before kickoff, so that's a lot of time for him to be feeling good again.

"As long as he looks good in warm-ups, he's going to play."

A Relaxed Savage
In the moments after the season-opening win against Norfolk State, quarterback Tom Savage acknowledged he was jittery, and it affected his accuracy and his performance.

This week, though, Schiano has seen a different Savage.

"He was more relaxed," Schiano said. "He was more comfortable doing it. I don't know why he wasn't Thursday night. He admitted he was uptight, but I don't think that will be an issue anymore."

Baby Steps
In talking about the offensive line, Schiano said it was a good week of practice, and it is aided by backup guard Antwan Lowery and reserve Andre Civil performing well.

"They improved," he said. "This is not going to be an overnight turnaround. It's little by little, but I think some of the younger guys … I think Lowery made some strides. I think Civil made some strides. I think Civil has a chance to be really good."

Recruiting Road
Rutgers will not send a bundle of coaches out recruiting in south Florida, but with the game late Saturday, there is time for a few coaches to recruit and head to a few games.

"We may send a coach or two to a game, but not wholesale," Schiano said.

There is also the opportunity for prospects to come watch the Scarlet Knights, although Rutgers cannot talk to them or provide them with tickets for the game.

"It's unfortunate we're not allowed to talk to them," Schiano said, "so seeing them is all we can do."

Scarlet Report Top Stories