Notes: Post-game Sunday Schiano

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano had a chance to review the film of Saturday's 17-13 loss to North Carolina, and he spoke with the media about it Sunday morning. Schiano spoke about quarterback Tom Savage's decisions, the play of the offfensive line, what transpired on specials and much more.

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano spoke to a quartet of media members this morning, and the hot topic was the play of quarterback Tom Savage in Saturday's 17-13 loss to North Carolina.

After the game, Savage called his footwork "terrible," so asked Schiano is that was the case.

"I think every quarterback can improve their footwork," he said. "That's not what people look at, that's what coaches look at. But that's probably a little bit of an exaggeration. Is it perfect? No ,but that's not a huge issue. I think he's frustrated."

One thing Schiano did praise was Savage's decisions, particularly moving away from the pocket and running when necessary.

"I actually thought his decision-making was pretty good," Schiano said. "There were times when he was waiting for things to come open and then all of a sudden he felt the pressure and had to move out of the pocket. And once you move out of the pocket, now that changes the balls you can throw.

Schiano said Savage's first-quarter interception came a stellar play by North Carolina Bruce Carter, but the fourth-quarter interception was simply a good read and a bad pass.

"I didn't think his decision-making was an issue," Schiano said. "The one interception, which was a very big one when we're leading 10-0 and going in, the linebacker did an excellent job. He flipped his hips one way, and just as Tom was about to release it, he flipped back and made a big-time play.

"The last interception, it was under pressure a little bit but not too bad and we just threw it behind the receiver. So I don't think it was the decision; the decision was right. It just wasn't a good ball."

Faith in the pro-style running game?
Rutgers ran markedly more out of the "Wildcat" than the pro-style set, which led to a question about Schiano's faith in the Scarlet Knights running in a conventional offensive set.

"We have faith," Schiano said. "How much? Who knows how much?. We do it. We didn't do it as much …we thought we had an opportunity Saturday in the Wildcat stuff, but by no means is the conventional run game not part of our plan. It certainly is, some weeks more than others."

Rating the OL
Red-shirt freshman Antwan Lowery made his first career start, moving in at right guard for Caleb Ruch, but the film showed a need to get better across the unit, which allowed five sacks and produced 2.4 rushing yards per attempt.

"I think all across the front we need to improve," Schiano said. "What that will amount to as far as personnel, I'm not sure. That's what today is for, to visit with the coaching staff and really pick the game apart together.

"We all watch it separate and we'll get together …and a lot of times one (coach) knows a reason why a guy did something, and it makes sense all the sense in the world why a guy did something and he shouldn't be held accountable for that. I'll hold judgment there and we'll kind of pick it apart."

Not a snap
Center Howard Barbieri had a bad snap with Savage in the shot-gun and also Sanu had to handle a number of high snaps in the "Wildcat" package, and that is something causing concern for the Scarlet Knights.

"We need to get better at our gun snaps, there's no doubt about it," Schiano said. "And that's something that needs to get cleaned up quickly because it's been a little bit of an issue as we've moved along here. And we have to figure out how to get that fixed."

However, Schiano said just because the snap is high doesn't mean the rhythm and timing of the play is off.

"As long as it's around the framework of the body, it's not an issue," he said. "When you have to jump, or you have to really move your feet to the right or left, then it becomes an issue."

Not so special
Rutgers usually excels on special teams, but Carter blocked a Teddy Dellaganna punt and San San Te missed a 38-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter.

In talking about the blocked punt, Schiano hinted it may have been a schematic issue.

"Unfortunately, I wish it was just execution but we made two mistakes in the punt team, which we never make," he said. "I don't know why. I have to get to the bottom of it. But it's very unfortunate. You know that blocked punt leads to a field goal, and that's why we had to score a touchdown at the end of the game."

As for Te, the 38-yard miss was crucial because, like the punt block, it could have changed how the Scarlet Knights approached the last few drives of the fourth quarter.

"He hit the ball well but, again, it just hooked," Schiano said. "And again that's one of those five or six plays that, if you make that, then you're going for a field goal to win it rather than having to go for a touchdown. There were opportunities. He made two and missed one, but that's the way it goes."

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