Thurs. Notes: OL Rotation, Playing Dodd, Etc.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers finished preparations for Saturday's homecoming game against Navy under threatening skies, and afterward Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano met the media. He spoke about whether he settled on a starting offensive line, if he will get a series for backup quarterback Chas Dodd and why Navy is so good running the ball.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said he would like to settle on five regulars on the offensive line, but a lack of consistency from the unit is making that impossible at this time.

Heading into Saturday's homecoming game against Navy, Schiano would not say Thursday whether his starting offensive line – left tackle Andre Civil, left guard Desmond Wynn, center Caleb Ruch, right guard Antwan Lowery and right tackle Kaleb Johnson -- from the Pittsburgh game would be the same for the Midshipmen.

"It could be a mix," Schiano said. "I'm not sure right now. I think more than five will play. I'm not sure it matters who starts."

Against the Panthers, David Osei also played left tackle, Art Forst played left guard and Betim Bujari played right guard as the Scarlet Knights continue to search for answers on the offensive line.

Schiano wants to settle on a starting five, but isn't comfortable doing so.

"The last two years I feel like I've been saying I want it to happen," he said. "I can't make it happen …I can, but competition has served us well here over the years, and I think we just need to keep doing until we get five guys that are going to play as one, play as a unit."

The changes aren't immune to the right side of the line, either. Osei's move from center was designed to get Ruch in at center, and provide more competition for Civil at left tackle.

"I don't think (Osei) is better suited for one than the other," Schiano said. "Even though he's 6-foot-3, he's got arms like a 6-6 man, so it's fine. There's less responsibility at the left tackle. At the center, you have to make all the line calls, all the front IDs. There's a lot of work that happens at the center position, and then you have that little thing of snapping the ball as well, and then you have to block.

"So there's two gigantic extra pieces when you're the center as compared to any other position. Now, left tackle, the flip side to that is at center, you have physical help on both sides of you. Left tackle you usually get their best pass rusher back there, and physically, that's usually a mismatch. David is very talented physically, so the faster he can get really comfortable with his assignments, the more he can play."

Civil, who is 6-3, 280 pounds, isn't a prototypical left tackle, but he does have attributes Schiano likes.

"He's strong, he's got long arms, he's athletic," Schiano said. "It's not gone as well as I want, but any of the positions on the field have on the offensive line. But he's holding his own. I think the whole deal with our line is consistency. It's not that we can't do it. It's can we do it play after play after play. That's what we're looking for, and that's what the expectation has been as clearly stated as it can."

Dodd to get time?

Early in the season, Rutgers penciled in Gary Nova for a series or two at backup quarterback to get him experience behind Chas Dodd. Now that Nova is the starter, could a series or two be designated for Dodd against Navy?

"I don't know yet," Schiano said. "He's practicing well. I have to sit down with Frank and talk about that."

Talking red-shirts

Schiano said is it expected all the true freshman he planned to play have already played. The rest are expected to red-shirt.

"Probably have played the ones, unless some injury situation occurs," he said. "I think that freshman class is very talented."

One last time on the option

Navy is averaging 366 rushing yards per game (88.2 passing yards) but is on a three-game losing streak. Quarterback Kriss Proctor leads the team with 524 rushing yards and fullback Alexander Teich has run for 408 yards.

"Their quarterback is faster and bigger (than past seasons)," Schiano said. "I don't know the fullback's speed, but he looks fast.

"Just look at them statistically on offense what they've done. I don't care who it is. South Carolina has speed on defense. It gave them fits. It's different kind of ball, and since not many people run it anymore, you don't do it very much."


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