Sunday Schiano: Schemes, Assignments and More

Rutgers suffered a monumental loss Saturday, 69-38 to Cincinnati in which there were defensive issues across the field and offensive problems in pass protection again. After watching film of the game, Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano talked about whether the defensive issues were assignment or schematic oriented, and he also touched on a number of other subjects.

After watching the film of Rutgers' 69-38 defeat at Cincinnati, Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano said the defense scheme will have to be "tweaked" to avoid future opponents copying what the Bearcats did.

However, Schiano said plenty of assignment errors also enabled the Bearcats to post 661 yards of offense.

The offensive line, the inability to protect for quarterback Chas Dodd and the absence of a running game were also focal points for Schiano as he spoke about the loss in depth Sunday.

"There are some schematic issues," Schiano said. "We do what we do defensively, and we've done that over the last five years, and over time played very consistent defense. Is it wholesale changes? No. Are there things you have to look at and say, ‘Ok, we need something else here or we can't always do this — it makes us too predictable?' Absolutely, you always self-examine first. But then you have to balance that on, ‘Well, if we would've executed this, would it have worked?'

"And that's a delicate balance that you have to be honest with yourself as a coach. So, coming out of this game there are going to be things we need to tweak and then there's some other things that we need to do better."

The Scarlet Knights gave up big plays on third down, and it didn't matter if they played man coverage and blitz, sat back in a zone, or mixed a little of both.

""The only time I think you react in a drastically different manner is if your players aren't giving effort and they're not playing with emotion the way you would want," Schiano said. "I thought our kids played very hard, and that's what makes it very disappointing for them. Playing hard and carrying out your assignments are two different things. You have to play hard and carry out your assignment. We just didn't do that.

"And then there were a couple tweaks in the scheme that I think we could've helped them more and ultimately all that is my responsibility. As a coach your job is to get your guys to do what they're supposed to do when they're supposed to do it. And we didn't do that."

Protection woes

Dodd was sacked seven more times, and while a few came as he held the ball to try and locate an open receiver, there were plenty of other times he was forced from the pocket and tried to make a play with his feet, or on the run.

And while the offensive line absorbs plenty of the blame, the running backs did not do well picking up the blitz.

"We continue not to protect at the level that you need to as a Division I team," Schiano said. "It's something that's a glaring weakness of ours. We need to improve at it. Some of those things will just take some time.

"We didn't get here overnight, and as I said before, we're not going to get out of here overnight, in the protection area, at least."

Silver lining

Receiver Mark Harrison caught 10 passes for 240 yards and matched Chris Brantley's school record with four touchdown catches, and Dodd was 19 of 29 for 335 yards.

Schiano was asked if Rutgers was a better team now than they were in September.

"Well, obviously defensively (Saturday) we weren't," Schiano said. "I thought last week we were. We're an inconsistent team right now. We threw the ball better than we have in a long time, so that's better. Mark Harrison is a much better player than he was. I think Chas is a much better player than he was. So, in some areas we're making improvement.

""I think the issue right now is our inconsistency, and that's something that we'll have to continue to work on."

Team psyche

Schiano was asked about the team's mental health after such a beating.

"I think after the game it would be what you'd imagine," Schiano said. "They're very hurt. They didn't certainly expect something like this to happen. I don't think I saw anybody not give great effort. I mean, they gave effort, but effort alone isn't good enough."

Scarlet Report Top Stories