Schiano Notebook: Post-Game Teleconference

With Mohamed Sanu's masterful 16-catch performance still in fans minds, presents coach Greg Schiano's day-after-game comments with more on Sanu and the offensive line.

Mohamed Sanu set a Big East and team record with his 16 catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns yesterday. Sanu, who is on pace for 144 receptions this season after catching 29 balls in his last two games, was not an under-the-radar guy to begin the season and is already the focal point of opposing defenses.

Ohio coach Frank Solich said after the loss that the team was well aware of what Sanu could do, but were helpless to stop him. Coach Greg Schiano reiterated those comments today, saying teams "caught on" to Sanu's talent a long time ago.

"The opposition has already caught on, so to speak," Schiano said. "If they don't know Mohamed Sanu is a dominant player, they're not watching the tape. Mohamed's doing this with the other team knowing that he's that good and he's featured."

The best way to spread the ball better, Schiano said, is for the other receivers finish plays.

"What we have to do is the other guys need to make the plays," Schiano said. "If the ball is put on other people, they have to make the plays and then all of a sudden it doesn't look like a 16-2-2-1 distribution. It looks like maybe a 16-5-4-7. We have other guys that can make plays and we just need to do it more consistently."

New-look offensive line

Upon his initial tape viewing, Schiano said he is happy with Betim Bujari and Kaleb Johnson in their starts yesterday, but would look to see even more improvement this week in practice from the offensive line.

"There was improvement," Schiano said. "We're nowhere near where we need to be. Too many negative plays or lost-yardage plays, but we're getting better. Like I've been saying all along, we didn't get here overnight, we're not going to get out of this thing overnight. We're heading in the right direction."

The offensive line paved the way for a season-best 3.7 yards per carry and surrendered just one sack against Ohio. Through three games, the line surrendered five sacks.

Though Bujari and Johnson each played well, there will still be competition this week as players like Antwan Lowery and Desmond Stapleton try to re-earn their starting jobs.

"I think we're headed down the right path," Schiano said. "There are some guys that have played football for us that didn't play Saturday, which we're going to have to see. There's going to have to be competition. Where that takes us, I don't know, but we're getting better as a group. ... Right now, we're not at the point where we can say ‘this is it.' There's going to have to be competition.

Three-headed monster

Schiano said the plan for running backs Savon Huggins, Jeremy Deering and Jawan Jamison right now is to assess the reps on a game-by-game basis to stick with the hot hand.

"They're all good players," Schiano said. "They all have the ability to be great players, so let's see where it takes us."

Grading Dodd

Quarterback Chas Dodd put up a solid statistical performance, throwing for 232 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on 21-of-32 passing.

"Overall I think he played very well and I think, as I said yesterday, a very gutsy effort," Schiano said. "... He played effective football. He had a few drops on him. We're going to have to clean that up and continue to work at that, but overall, I feel that he played winning football and that's what we need him to do."

Preparing for Big East grind

A trip to the Carrier Dome to play Syracuse opens up Rutgers' Big East schedule this weekend. Schiano said he wants to see fewer mistakes down the stretch for the team to make a run.

"Yesterday, we scored 38 points, but we left a lot of offense on the table," Schiano said. "We created four takeaways, yet we left a ton of defense on the field. Whether it's sacks or QB hits, we made a lot of mistakes. I think our biggest thing is to continue to improve, continue attention to detail, yet not slowing down one bit. We need to play with speed like we are. We're playing faster and faster, which is good, but we need to do it with more attention to detail."

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