That was the message he received from Rutgers assistant coach Brian Angelichio in the hours before the nationally televised game, and it was one he already knew.
"I'm paying attention to Rutgers," he said. "I watched the game against North Carolina Central. I saw Savon (Huggins) had a really good game, and I talked to Angelichio (Sunday) morning, and also (Saturday) night.
"He was checking in and telling me they were watching, and just to play and keep Rutgers in mind."
The 5-foot-7, 175-pound Peoples rushed 22 times for 97 yards, but there was plenty of frustration with it. Peoples began the game with a few big runs, making moves in the hole and showing his elusiveness.
However, while trying to run right in the second quarter, Peoples was tackled and injured his right ankle.
"I got rolled up on," he said. "It impacted me pretty hard, but it's something I have to fight through. I stayed in the game. It impacted everything, but in the end I just stuck it out."
Peoples added he lost some of his ability to accelerate and his make sharp cuts after the injury. But more than his injury, Peoples thought a 30-minute delay because of lightning with less than three minutes remaining and Wood holding a first-and-10 at the Central 13-yard line impacted the outcome.
"I believe we could have won the game, but it just didn't happen that way," Peoples said. "I think the delay through us off track a little bit. To stop all the momentum and emotion, it hurt us a little bit."
After the delay, Archbishop Wood then missed a 40-yard field goal in the closing seconds.
"We need to watch film and see what we did wrong," Peoples said. "Then, coach corrects us and we need to work hard every day at practice to get everything right for how we need it to be to win a state championship."