Thursday Notebook: Schiano Talks TCU

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Upon the conclusion of Thursday's Rutgers football practice, head coach Greg Schiano spoke with the media about the latest conference realignment news regarding TCU. Schiano also spoke more about the quarterback situation, the offensive line and preparing for Pittsburgh.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — If it is up to head coach Greg Schiano, Rutgers will still host TCU next season, despite the Horned Frogs decision today to leave the Big East for the Big 12.

"Depending if they want to keep the game or not, I'd like to still play them, but do they want to play us next year," Schiano said. "…We may need to get a game. … There's a lot of stuff going on."

Rutgers was set to host TCU at High Point Solutions Stadium next year, but may now need to add another home game with the team leaving the conference without ever officially joining it.

For Schiano, he said his focus remains on the task at hand, Pittsburgh, and not on conference news down the road.

"I've said it before, I'm confident we'll be fine," Schiano said. "We're a great academic institution [near] New York City. We're the only people in the world that can say that. It's just going to be a matter of Tim [Pernetti], and President [Richard L.] McCormick and our board deciding just what we do and how we do it and move forward.

"I trust the people that are handling that just like I trust the guys on my staff. If I tried to do everything, we'd be not very good at anything. I think we have a good team here, administrative, coaches all those things and let everybody do their job. I'm kept in the loop. I just try to help out and be another opinion on what to do and see if there are any issues. I don't spend much time on it.

Quarterback Battle

Quarterbacks Chas Dodd and Gary Nova battled all week for the starting job. After Thursday's practice, Schiano did not rule out any scenario of how the two will be used.

"They're great competitors, two guys that love the game," Schiano said. "They both want to play, but you can only play one at a time. We'll figure it out."

Schiano did not rule out starting either quarterback, scripting series for the backup or splitting reps down the middle if necessary. But nothing will be public until Saturday when the team kicks off.

The Offensive Line

As Schiano continues to search for the best offensive line rotation, he said there "could be" different personnel to start the game against Pittsburgh than what was used against Syracuse.

Earlier in the week, Schiano tried multiple combinations in practice and said they are looking at the entire offensive line, and not just the right side of it.

Middle Linebacker Depth

With the loss of David Milewski, Schiano needs to find new options behind Steve Beauharnaus at middle linebacker. Edmond Laryea could play the position, but Schiano does not think that is the way the team will go.

Ka'Lial Glaud may be an option, as may red-shirt freshman Sam Bergen.

"He's doing well, Sam," Schiano said. "Sam right now is working on the scout team, but he goes to all the meetings. Sam's a conscientious guy."

Huggins' Development

Though Jawan Jamison remains the starting tailback, Schiano said he is pleased with running back Savon Huggins' development.

"If we're going with Jamison, he's ahead right now, but Savon's doing well," Schiano said. "I think he's going to get better and better as he learns more and more how to do it. I think he's doing well. He's just developing."

Robinson's sixth year

Coach Greg Schiano is confident that cornerback Mason Robinson can get a sixth year of eligibility.

"I don't know if you're allowed to apply for it until the end of the year," Schiano said. "I'm fairly confident that we'll get it. By the nature of the rule, he fits every criteria. It would shock me if he didn't."

Jeff Hafley

Hafley's reputation as a recruiter is well-documented. But Hafley is also an excellent football coach on the field, Schiano said.

"He's a smart guy," Schiano said. "It doesn't surprise me that he's a good coach and it doesn't surprise me that he's a good recruiter. He's a very good football coach. And that's one of the things, before I hired him, I said to Dave [Wannstedt], ‘what kind of coach is he?' He said, ‘Greg he's a great coach. You're going to love him.' And I do. He's a really good coach. He's got a bright future."

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