Notes: Meadowlands?, Savage Update, etc.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers staged its final practice in preparation for Saturday's "home" game against Army, and afterward Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano went into detail why the game is being played at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Schiano also gave an update on the availability of quarterback Tom Savage for the game, whether running back Casey Turner will red-shirt, and much more.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – There will be a block "R" at midfield and the end zones will be painted like it is for a Rutgers home game, but Saturday's contest with Army is being played the New Meadowlands Stadium for one reason:


Rutgers is getting $2.7 million to play the game, which is approximately $1.2 million more than it nets for a home game.

"That's the only reason I'd be doing it, to be frank with you," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "I grew up there. I've told you guys the stories, but (Rutgers Stadium) is my place. That's our place. That's "R" place. But, it's a lot of money."

Schiano said the money used helps the athletic department.

"It's so hard to run an athletic department right now," Schiano said. "With 24 teams, it's really hard. I think football is the only mechanism to generate large amounts of money. You can make some money in other things, but large amounts of money, so I thought this was a great opportunity.

"The great thing is (athletic director) Tim (Pernetti), President (Richard L.) McCormick, everybody's on the same page. We'll do it if it's a great financial opportunity. Otherwise, our home is sitting back there."

The financial gain is also the impetus in discussions involving Rutgers and Miami for a 2013 game at Yankee Stadium.

"Between Yankee Stadium and the Meadowlands, there's continual conversations," Schiano said. "Again, if the money's right, and the situation is right, we'll do it. If not, we're staying right here."

Savage ready?

Sophomore quarterback Tom Savage, who is nursing a right hand injury, will be ready to backup Chas Dodd.

"Tom will be able to play," Schiano said. "He'll be in pain because he's not 100 percent, but he will be our backup and he'll be ready to play."

Updating Martinek, Turner

The Scarlet Knights don't have a lot of depth at running back, especially with Joe Martinek still recovering from an ankle sprain.

But the season hasn't reached the point where Schiano is ready to say Casey Turner will not play, despite the fact Turner continues to recover from groin surgery before the season.

"As we get on, the further into the year you get, the less likely it becomes (Turner will play)," Schiano said. "But you never know what situations dictate. You're a play or two (away), but right now he can't play, so it's not even a decision."

Schiano added Martinek has practiced better this week than he did going into the Connecticut game.

"I think he looked better in practice this week, and I think he'll look better in the game, too," Schiano said.

Changing the field

One thing about playing in a pro stadium is the different markings on the field, including four sets of hash marks (the thinner ones for the NFL and the wider marks for college games).

"Those (hash) marks we use a lot for the skill positions for our splits, and reading their splits," Schiano said. "You have to make sure your guys don't get confused because they use them for landmarks with zone coverage and those types of things."

As soon as Rutgers gets to the stadium, Schiano said he will send the team onto the field to get used to the surroundings.

"Quarterbacks, find the (play) clock, both sides. Where is i?," Schiano said. "I'm sure they'll be wide-eyed. I saw a picture from there. They have four gigantic t.v. (screens) in each corner. I'm sure that will be something neat for them."

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