Saturday Schiano, Part II: Te, Run Game, Etc.

In the second part of day-after notebook, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano talks about a myriad of topics. From placekicker San San Te's game-winning field goal to third down conversions, the defensive delay of game call, the fake field goal and more, it is all in the second-part of the Saturday notebook.

Rutgers placekicker San San Te has been maligned for his inconsistencies in his career, but much of that is forgotten after he made two field goals – including the game-winning 34-yard with 13 seconds left – in Friday's 27-24 win against Connecticut at Rutgers Stadium.

And Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano said he was thrilled with Te's kick, and beyond the obvious of it winning the game.

"That's one of the tougher things in sport, to go kick that winning field, or shoot that winning free throw, when all eyes are on you," Schiano said. "I think it's great for San San. I think he needed one of those.

"That, hopefully, will give him more and more confidence to do it again because we're certainly going to be in a ton of close games and we're going to need to call upon him again to do that. Any time you've done something once, it gets a little easier."

Te is 9 of 13 on field goal attempts this season, including 7 of 8 from39 yards and closer.

Third-down woes

Rutgers was seventh in the eight-team Big East in third-down conversions at 31.1 percent, and nothing transpired against Connecticut. The Scarlet Knights were 3 of 15 on third down, and 0 for 2 on fourth down.

"We converted a few but we weren't really great on third downs," Schiano said. "I think what we did was we made plays on first and second down. We made a few key conversions, but we need to continue to get better on third down. That was an area that as I looked at it there's still room for improvement.''

Fake field goal call

Schiano said the fake field goal call in the third quarter was designed for holder Kyle Sullivan to get past the line of scrimmage clean, but the timing was throw off when Sullivan was bumped by a UConn defender.

Even with Sullivan getting bumped to the ground, he was able to get up and get open, but was overthrown by former quarterback D.C. Jefferson.

"We probably just were a little bit fast there because when he got up he was wide-open," Schiano said. "The guy he ran into wasn't covering him. (Rutgers assistant) coach (Robb) Smith and (assistant) coach (Phil) Galiano had discovered something and sure enough it was there. We just kind of rushed it a little. I don't know exactly why but it's a shame because I think that was a touchdown.

"(Sullivan) is not supposed to chip (his guy) but I don't know if it was his choice. I think the guy may have run into him."

Delay on Beauharnais

Rutgers middle linebacker Steve Beauharnais was called for delay of game in the closing seconds of the first half, which allowed UConn to set up for a 17-yard field on the last play of the half.

"We coach, and it's a respect thing, and I need to probably talk to our team or the head of the officials …we respect the football," Schiano said. "That's a big thing around here. You never see one of our kids put the ball on the ground ever. We hand the ball to the official. That's the way we do it. Whether we score a touchdown, whether we recover a fumble, we hand it to the official. I think it's a respect for the ball. We put such a premium on the football. I also think it's respect for the official."

Schiano said Beauharnais was trying to hand the ball to the official to spot it rather than leave it on the ground.

"I think it was more of a misunderstanding than anything else," Schiano said. "It's an unfortunate misunderstanding, so I need to make sure …maybe I'm teaching the wrong thing. Maybe we should just put the ball on the ground all the time.

"I don't know. I tend to believe that if the ball is so important, you want to get in habits of never putting that ball on the ground."

Running on mediocrity

Rutgers was able to possess the ball for more than 35 minutes, but the ball possession was based more on the passing game as Rutgers ran 38 times for 88 yards. The leader was freshman Jordan Thomas, who carried nine times for 29 yards.

However, Schiano wasn't ready to discuss in depth what went wrong on the ground against the Huskies.

"I need to study it more," he said. "I quickly looked at it and then started on Army. I'm going to look more at it tonight, once the guys go home. The end result isn't what we want it to be. I think we had 88 yards, so that's not where we want to be running the ball, but it's better than we've been.

"We just need to keep moving that thing forward and blocking is part of it. And running the ball in the right place is also part of it. Sometimes I think we may have either not given the play a chance. We need to make sure we keep getting better there. It's certainly an area there's a lot of room for improvement."

McEvoy's role

Senior Colin McEvoy saw an increased role as Rutgers' lead fullback in the running game, and it comes only a few weeks after he made the transition from defense.

"He's just done a really good job," Schiano said. "He showed us in practice he can be trusted to do his job, and there was an opportunity, or void, there by Edmond (Laryea) unfortunately being done for the season with the knee injury. He stepped up and took advantage of the opportunity.

"Like anything else, as you build trust by doing things over and over again the right way, coaches get more confident in you, and that's what's happening with Colin. He's doing the things we need him to do."


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