Rutgers Offense Prepares for Tough Task

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Coach Greg Schiano did not leave any room for doubt in his Monday press conference. The Rutgers football team expects to face a dangerous and challenging North Carolina defense Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C. Quarterback Chas Dodd and receiver Brandon Coleman discussed the challenge they face in the Tar Heels' defense.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — According to head coach Greg Schiano, the Rutgers football team faces a defense with many future NFL draft picks and high levels of athleticism this Saturday against North Carolina.

To sophomore quarterback Chas Dodd, there is no better time for the Scarlet Knights' offense to show what it is capable of.

"At practice, I know the team as a group knows how we feel about the team and what we can be," Dodd said. "We just have to go out there and show everyone else and we have to produce on the field. Otherwise it means nothing if we just think we can be good. We have to actually do it. That's one of the big things. We have to go out there and show people what we're capable of."

Dodd said he was not satisfied with his personal performance against N.C. Central and that the offense needs to play better to compete with the Tar Heels.

Dodd complete nine of 17 passes for 113 yards, one touchdown and one pick against the Eagles. Between receiver drops and some ill-advised throwing windows, Dodd said he admits the offense left a lot on the field.

"It wasn't as productive as we wanted it to be," Dodd said. "We left a lot out there on the field. ... Once we fix all that, I think that will be the offense that we're capable of being.

"I didn't play horrible, but there were things here and there, four or five plays, that I could have really done something else to better the team and help the team out. Again, that's just things we have to correct and work on in practice."

In last season's loss at Rutgers Stadium, Dodd played just one series against the Tar Heels, but between that and game-tape, he knows what to expect.

Averaging just 3.3 yards per carry against N.C. Central, Dodd said establishing the run is critical to handling the UNC defense.

"I think it's going to come around," Dodd said. "We should have run the ball a little bit better. There were times here and there when it looked good and other times when it didn't. I know a few times, we missed some line calls and stuff like that from watching film. Once we critique all that and fix that, I feel our running game can be a lot more productive and hopefully it will be this week."

Red-shirt freshman Brandon Coleman spent the last North Carolina game watching from the sidelines.

The 6-foot-6 wide receiver can expect a bigger role this season, a week after his first career catch and touchdown against N.C. Central.

"The competition is raised, so we're all going to have to bring our game up to the next level — the whole team," Coleman said. "We'll just have to work harder in practice just to get ready for Saturday. ... I think that's going to bring the best out of both sides of the ball."

Coleman said that after spending all of camp practicing against the Rutgers secondary, he feels ready for the challenge of North Carolina.

"Our secondary is very talented. Going against them in the spring, summer, all of training camp, we've just been going back-and-forth," Coleman said. "I think we're very prepared for what North Carolina brings to the table. ... When we do certain periods when we have Rutgers on Rutgers, I take full advantage of that."

Scarlet Report Top Stories