Day-After Notes: Part I, Offense, WRs, etc.

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano spoke with the media Sunday during his usual day-after conference call, and he had so much to say it needs to be broken into two parts. In the first part, Schiano talks about offensive struggles, the youth of the receivers, giving multiple looks on offense and also the health of running back Joe Martinek.

After assessing the film of Rutgers' 19-14 win Saturday at Florida International, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said the offensive woes cannot be pinned to an individual or a unit.

Some of the blames sits with the decisions of quarterback Tom Savage, some with the receivers and tight ends running poor routes and some with the inadequate play of the offensive line.

And, less than 12 hours after the Scarlet Knights (2-0) amassed 172 yards of total offense, Schiano said the shortcomings can impact a player's confidence.

"I think we made to make some decisions quicker," Schiano said. "We need to do some things probably a little differently in the passing game, and we also have to get open and run the routes correctly.

"I think (it is) a little bit of everything, which in turn, can have an effect on guys' confidence all across the board. We have some work to do, obviously, in the passing game and the run game, but we're going to put our heads to it and get after it in this bye week."

Savage went 7 of 15 for 72 yards and an interception, and said part of the offensive problems were a result of FIU running difference defenses than Rutgers prepared for in the week of practice.

"If Tom says that, than I guess that affected him more," Schiano said. "I didn't see it as (such a) big change as Tom did. They didn't run one coverage as much as we thought they would. But they ran a coverage that he's seen over and over again, so I'm not concerned as much about the schematics.

"I think they did a little something different on third down, but after one time I thought coach (Kirk) Ciarroca got him situated and he was fine with it.

"I think Tom's frustrated a little bit, and he's searching for reasons as why it's not going as well as he would like. But ya' know what? It's usually a little bit of everything. It's never one thing. That would be easy. If it's one thing, then you would fix it."

However, even though the results were not pretty, Schiano believes steps were made in comparison to the opener against Norfolk State.

"We were better this week than we were last," Schiano said. "I know that is hard maybe in some areas to see, but the competition level rose considerably. FIU had just about everybody healthy and they've done a very good job recruiting, and they're a very fast team.

"They remind me of our teams in years 4, 5, 6, where we really could run. We made mistakes, but we could run. That team can run. And when you can run, some big plays could happen."

Multiple Look
Rutgers tried different things to get the offense going, including trying to use the two-minute offense to establish rhythm and running the "Wildcat" with Mohamed Sanu. But Schiano said it wasn't done to help Savage gain confidence.

"It's trying to be multiple on offense, and again, we're a block away from popping about six runs," Schiano said. "So we have to find a way, or a guy, one or the other…whether we can get the current guys that are doing it to do it or to get another guy in there to do it because if we get that one more block, six to eight runs are coming out and now you're into the secondary and you never know what happens."

Injury Report
Like running back Joe Martinek told ScarleteReport.com after the game, Schiano said he expected the red-shirt junior's ankle injury to be minor.

"He'll come in for treatment later today," Schiano said. "Just my gut feeling is that he's going to be a couple of days, but he's going to be ok. Now, that can change overnight. Initially, I don't think it's too bad."

However, tight end Evan Lampert's status is more cloudy. Lampert suffered an ankle injury as well, but Schiano was unsure of the severity of it.

Receiver Rhetoric
Schiano re-iterated what he said after the game, and that is the youth in the receiving corps is having an impact in the passing game.

"I think it's a little bit of a period where they're getting acclimated to each other," he said. "There are new receivers. Literally, I think the oldest guy we have is a red-shirt sophomore playing wide out.

"So, there's not a lot of experience there. We just need to keep working together and I think it will start to gel."


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