Notes: Using Two QBs, Close Games & Costanza

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers kicks off against Cincinnati in slightly more than 48 hours, but the starting quarterback is yet to be named. And, for that matter, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said following Thursday's practice the starting quarterback may not be the only one he uses. He also talked about the number of close games this season and his crossed path with Cincy coach Butch Jones.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. –Rutgers' intriguing quarterback situation took a very interesting twist following Thursday's practice.

In not naming a starter for Saturday's pivotal game at Cincinnati, Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano said the game plan could include Chas Dodd and Tom Savage both playing against the Bearcats.

It is the first time he mentioned the possibility of using both quarterbacks in the game plan, rather than going to the backup because of injury or ineffectiveness.

"We've practiced them both, and they may both play," Schiano said. "We've got 50-something hours until kickoff. I want to just think it through a little bit more."

Schiano added he has a strong idea who will start, but that may not matter.

The game plan could be tailored to suit the strengths of each quarterback, but Schiano added it is not a given both quarterbacks will play.

"I want to talk it through with the staff," Schiano said. "We've got some time now, and I'll probably go back and watch some of the games. We have a bunch of hours here, and maybe watch the practices, and just try to figure out what kind of game it's going to be with their defense."

Savage started the first four games, going 2-2 before a hand injury knocked him out against Tulane. Dodd is 2-3 as a starter, but has led a pair of late fourth-quarter comebacks.

"I think they're both good enough to win games," Schiano said. "There's no doubt in my mind of that, so it really is, I think ‘What (is best) right now?' because we're in a little bit of a spot. We've had a bunch of injuries, we're trying to win a game here.

"I tried to not look big picture right now, and just tried to think about what can we do today to give us the best chance. And they both bring certain things to the table, so I'm not sure which one. And I want to talk to (offensive coordinator) Kirk (Ciarrocca) and the offensive staff at length rather than just in passing about it."

Close Calls

Rutgers has lost four games by a total of 11 points and three of its wins came by a total of 11 points. The Scarlet Knights are a young team, and Schiano said they will be helped in the long run by the close games, but added there is no one reason for the close games.

"These games, without a doubt, are preparing us for the future," Schiano said. "I attribute it to we're not yet where we need to be. I think we're talented, but in a lot of key areas we're inexperienced. We're making mistakes that eventually I think …I've seen them. A lot of them have gone away already.

"A guy like Jeremy Deering is probably making about 20 percent of the mistakes he was making. Jordan Thomas, Mark Harrison, all of a sudden, they're starting to make fewer and fewer mistakes."

Passing In The Hale Center

Schiano left Rutgers as a graduate assistant after the 1989 season, which coincided with Cincinnati coach Butch Jones coming to Rutgers as a graduate assistant. Jones stayed with the Scarlet Knights for three years after taking the spot Schiano occupied.

And Schiano reminisced a bit about his old office, which is now the offensive coaches meeting room.

"That used to be the G.A. room, and when you walk in the room, my desk used to be to the left," Schiano said. "Every once in a while – remember George Costanza? – I used to sleep under the desk in the G.A. room."


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